Posted by: Ann Corcoran | September 6, 2012

Blackwell’s letter about theTampa RNC coup raises more questions then it answers


“Nothing like this has ever happened before in living memory at a Republican National Convention.”

Readers, this is an update on the story we reported, here, a few days ago about how Republican establishment insiders have effectively silenced conservative opposition in the GOP.   Morton Blackwell, leading the Virginia delegation, figured prominently in the story because he and other Virginians were waylaid when their bus mysteriously got lost en route to the critical rules committee meeting.

Below is some of Blackwell’s side of the story this morning (hat tip:  Judy and Joe).

He fingers Ben Ginsberg (we wrote about him here yesterday) as the hit man for the RNC establishment, but are we expected to believe that Ginsberg is just some random DC lawyer operating without the express wishes of the Romney team and indeed Romney himself?

Blackwell (emphasis mine):

Dear Fellow RNC Member,

Now that the national convention is over, many delegates and others have asked me to sum up my views on the controversy at the convention regarding The Rules of the Republican Party and where we should go from here.

What happened regarding the party rules in Tampa was a totally unnecessary – but largely successful attempt – to concentrate and centralize more power at the top of the party and restrict or shut off opportunities for power in the party to flow from the bottom up.

The effort was led by Ben Ginsberg, a member of the Convention Rules Committee from Washington, D.C., who represented himself as the spokesman for Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign.   [What do you mean “represented himself?”  Did no one in attendance confirm who he worked for, or did everyone already know?—ed]

Was Ginsberg a ringer in the Bachmann campaign whose job it was to spy or even destroy the campaign from within?

Earlier this year, Mr. Ginsberg worked for the Presidential Campaign of Michele Bachmann. In Tampa, he led the effort to make major changes in the party rules strongly opposed by Congresswoman Bachmann.


Mr. Ginsberg is simply a man unencumbered by principles.   [Are you telling us that Romney has hired a lawyer without principles?—ed]

As Blackwell’s explanation progresses, once again Ginsberg kind of pops-in and takes-over:

Enter Ben Ginsberg.

At the Convention Rules Committee meeting, he proceeded to introduce and support many amendments to the newly-revised rules which had been approved the previous day by the RNC.

The changes he proposed shared a common theme: to concentrate and centralize more power at the top of the party, and to shut off opportunities for power in the party to flow from the bottom up.

Since these rules changes would go into effect for the 2016 presidential election cycle, none of Mr. Ginsberg’s power grabs would in any way help us elect Mitt Romney and defeat President Barack Obama in November.  [But, Mr. Blackwell, don’t you see that its 2016 Romney (or his handlers!) is worried about?  He does not want to be challenged by a true conservative in his second term.—ed]


“Nothing like this has ever happened before in living memory at a Republican National Convention.”

Just a little tragic blunder?  Are you kidding!  But, you, grassroots Republicans and Tea Partiers, must work for Romney anyway:

But first, it’s necessary to stress how important I believe it is to elect Mitt Romney and defeat Barack Obama in November.


It’s little short of tragic that some of his operatives blundered by setting up an entirely unnecessary, major controversy with grassroots Republicans at our national convention.

Ginsberg:  We did it for friends!

What friends?  Blackwell doesn’t tell us!

Mr. Ginsberg gutted the hard-won reform by ramming through a change in the rules to permit winner-take-all primaries in March.

When I asked him why he did this, he replied to me, “It wasn’t our idea. We did it as a favor for some friends.”  [What is he talking about?  Who are these friends who have more power than Romney himself in the party?—ed]

Now for that magical mystery bus ride.  Blackwell writes it off to incompetence.  Can he not believe that this bunch who hired Ginsberg wouldn’t pay some bus driver to take his good ol’ time?  Did no one on the bus call the Rules Committee and ask to hold the vote until they arrived?  Did their cell phones not work?  Where was Grover Norquist? Couldn’t Blackwell get his powerful buddy Norquist to weigh in for them and hold up the meeting?


There circulated in the media coverage of the Tampa convention a report that a late and wayward bus deliberately prevented the Virginia Delegates from arriving at the convention hall in time for me to take part in the final (usually pro-forma) meeting of the Convention Rules Committee held as the convention began.

It is true that our Virginia bus got our delegation to the convention hall after the Convention Rules Committee meeting adjourned. But I never for a minute believed our bus had been deliberately delayed. [Not even for one nanosecond?—ed]

One should not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

After all that, Blackwell expects conservative grassroots leaders to shut-up so that they might get a chance at a job in the new Administration?  Does he think our rice bowls mean more to us then principle?  We’ve been mugged and he expects us to embrace the mugger?

And, with Romney hires such as the ‘unprincipled’ Benjamin Ginsberg we are supposed to have confidence in Romney’s staffers? Do you, Mr. Blackwell, really believe this yourself?

An incoming administration tends to hire people who contributed significantly to winning the election.

If we expect a new President to hire a lot of principled conservatives and libertarians, we should maximize the number of principled conservatives and libertarians who have credentialed themselves by taking part in the Mitt Romney campaign.

To Tea Party conservatives, you have one consolation!  The Democrats are trying to push God and Israel under the bus, and the Republicans only want you there.   And, hey, I found the Maryland bus driver who would be happy to see that happen.  Come to think of it, did anyone get a photo of Blackwell’s incompetent driver?



  1. People, do your homework on Morton Blackwell and the tactics taught at his Leadership Institute. I think Blackwell’s incompetent bus dirver was anything but that. Blackwell is a ruthless political operative who trained Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed and over 200 other legislators and members of congress. He was part of a group of conservatives who defended Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff. He and his buddies may have started out as pure, good hearted Barry Goldwater conservatives but politics became a cruel game and WINNING above all the goal. Read what Blackwell writes in “The True Nature of Politics”. I would put nothing beyond this man and his crew.

  2. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable. ”

    — John F. Kennedy

    • o.k….I agree. Exactly WHO are you accusing of making peaceful revolution not possible?

      • In this context, I was thinking of a GOP Party establishment that stifles change from its most vigorous wing in order to stay in power. By preventing a “peaceful” revolution within the GOP, the Party is only ensuring a “violent” overthrow of their regime.

        However, Kennedy’s quote applies to ALL of America’s Ruling Class Elite. In that context, the quotes around “violent” are not necessary.

  3. Obama isn’t planning to win this one. He’s bored – been there, done that. Besides, he has a nice $25 milln estate in Hawaii and a lot of planning to do for his Presidential Library – his own personal monument.

    Whoever has the reins 2012-16 will be blamed for the whole mess from 2006 onwards. Becauseit WILL hit the fan during the next four years. Mathematical certainty. After this public rape & purge of the Tea Party by Romney’s accomplices @ the Convention, the expectation is that you know your place now. And if you attempt to move from under that bus, they’ll be waiting for you.

    My heart won’t be broken if Obama wins. What’s another 4 years of rule by fiat? FDR signed 1400+ Executive Directives. If BHO thinks that’ll save him, he’s more ignorant than I thought. Besides, a BHO win means Ryan goes back to the house, a position from which he was seduced and for whom there is no obvious replacement.

    Whoever is in the Oval Office by, say, 2015, is dead meat anyway. The economic situation will be dire. Better a Dem to take the rap for what they created.

    And in 2016, another abortive attempt by Romney will look like Gingrich Redux. The younger Republicans are smarter, better trained, and are policy experts. Meanwhile, we get to choose between a bored ex-community organizer and a hedge fund manager,

    Lord help us.

    • You have this completely wrong!

      Disaster is indeed around the corner. Double-dip depression, Euro collapse, dollar collapse, bankruptcy of public and private pension plans at all levels, civil unrest, a mid-East “World War.”

      There are two scenarios:

      1) America will hit the bottom it has foolishly postponed since 2008 through futile stimulus efforts BEFORE 2016. Therefore, whoever is in the Oval Office in 2016 will be the Savior of the World. Whatever Party is in power in 2016 will remain in power for a lifetime. If Obama wins, “Big Government” will be seen as the reason we survived the Crash of 2013. If Romney wins, “Free Enterprise” will be the reason. The loser will be tossed into the dustbin of history.

      2) America will still be going downhill in 2016. If that is the case, neither party will survive and we will all have a lot more to worry about than party Rules Committees and whether Paul Ryan is still in Congress.

      Therefore, there is ZERO upside and INFINITE downside to letting Obama win.

      NOTE: I am of the school that the President & the government have little to no actual impact on the economy. The economy will do what the economy will do. However, like the captain of a ship, the President and his party get the blame/credit for what happens. Carter did not ruin the economy and Reagan did not fix it, but that’s how we all remember it.

  4. […] post about the surprise entry into the Maryland US Senate race, here.   A few hours earlier, my post on Morton Blackwell’s “letter” to explain how the RNC effectively diminished the role Tea Partiers and Ron Paul supporters might […]

  5. […] SEPTEMBER 8! Ann Corcoran  in Potomac Tea Party Report declares  ‘[Morton] Blackwell’s letter about theTampa RNC coup raises more questions then […]

  6. […] featured in the news below) that resulted in the disenfranchisement of the Tea Party (here and here).  So I was inclined to tear it up even before this latest […]

  7. […] has some serious soul searching, but they surely can’t blame the Tea Party since they clearly threw them (us!) out of the party at the convention in Tampa this past summer.   And, I would hate to be Obama because now he has to perform and get […]

  8. […] Tea Party started the fire and the Republican establishment put it out!  Remember Tampa where they also threw out the […]

  9. […] Rand’s rallying cry, “Remember Tampa!” […]

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