Saturday, December 01, 2007

SCC Turns Its "Advance" Into A "Retreat"

Well, that should have been the headline in the WaPo.

Some are celebrating. One who scrupulously hides his identity so his record (or perhaps, lack thereof; other than his nihilistic rantings) is not subject to equal scrutiny. My guess is he's not a Republican at all, and that, if his identity were known, it would be revealed to those who read his comments that his goal is not in accord with the GOP, but is more closely in alignment with those who seek to destroy it.

In fact, when I chaired the committee to write the PWC Party Plan, we were quite adament in our efforts to ensure that the grassroots controlled the County GOP (barring things like slating and instructing), something that John Light seems to have forgotten with his irresponsible and inaccurate reference to "the proletariat." Wasn't he one of those who complained when some unwashed proles dared to sign up for and vote at a recent GOP Convention?

I don't care whether the pledge is required or not. I'd much rather see that result achieved by the device of party registration, but not so much that I am willing to allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good and discard any effort to ensure that Republicans select Republican nominees available under current law.

What I DO care about is the conspiracy-theory rantings and nihilistic efforts which seem to be the coin of the Realm in some places (others have raised responsible criticisms which, while I disagree with them, are certainly not off the deep end). Most from people scrupulously hiding their identities. It causes those of us who actually have built something to question whether they come from those who have ever built ANYTHING (other than a giant case of phallus-envy, that is). I don't know much about, for instance, Help Save Manassas or its operations, but one has to wonder whether it would retain as a member an individual who regularly hired illegal aliens, or who publicly advocated amnesty or other things opposed to its stated goals.

The SINGLE purpose of the pledge is to ensure that Republicans selected the Republican nominee. It has nothing to do with "the ability of a few party leaders to control the outcome," or barring participation of "the proletariat" (other than those who aren't Republicans, of course). Those are the plaintive whinings of those who find themselves in a minority. All of the sound and fury offered here never really addressed that point, but instead, suggests that having Republicans select Republican nominees is some sort of bad thing. Likewise, it sanctimoniously and inaccurately suggests that primary voters are somehow more likely than convention-goers to become actively involved in party operations. From whence that assumption arises is something of a mystery. Convention-goers have already demonstrated their commitment by going to the time and, frequently, expense of showing up to support their candidate or candidates. What to primary voters do? Stop by their local schools for 15 or 20 minutes? Which demonstrates a stronger commitment to the process or to the Party (any party)?

The single reason to eschew such a device is to remove any impediments to those uncommitted to Republican goals and principles from participating in the GOP nominating process.

Congratulations. Your goal is achieved.


Rick said...


This really wasn't a retreat. We've only invoked the pledge during a primary once ... during the 2000 presidential primary. That year, there was no Dem primary on the same day and there was a high likelihood that a lot of Democrats would vote in our primary.

This year, there is a heavily contested Democrat primary on the same day as ours, and there isn't much chance the Democrats are going to want to cross over and meddle in our primary.

SCC members who believe as you (and I) do regarding making sure Republicans are the ones who participate in our nominating processes a) didn't think there was much chance of Dems getting involved in this primary and b) didn't think this action would harm our position in regards to party registration.

In fact, we had the best discussion we've ever had about how we, as the SCC, could work with the General Assembly to get a party registration bill out of committee. We also passed a resolution (almost unanimously) re-affirming our support for party registration.

James Young said...

Whatever else happened, Rick (and per my policy, I guess this is Rich Hendrix, SCC Member), you have to admit that it was badly handled. If you're saying that the pledge was unnecessary given the facts, a strong case can be made, but that concedes that the initial decision was ill-considered.

I'm a little concerned that SCC members didn't defend their decision more vigorously. I know that for most members (present company excepted, among a few others), membership is a "gold watch" for faithful service, but with the post comes responsibilities, and it's disappointing to see so few rising to them on this occasion.

Rick said...

Regarding the "initial decision," I don't believe we had a discussion on having the pledge this year. At the October SCC meeting, we adopted rules that were the same as 2000 and I suspect that's where it came from. Yes, we should have looked at it more closely, but that was the same meeting where we voted on convention vs. primary for 2008 and on nine party plan amendments.

The major discussion on the primary rules was whether or not the "no instruction" amendment would apply to a primary binding delegates to support the winner of the primary. (Most people felt that it wouldn't.) No excuses ... we just didn't focus on the pledge or think it through at that meeting.

James Young said...

Thanks for the insight, Rick (I accept it as an "explanation," not as an "excuse," but then, I'm not looking to pick every nit). Pity we didn't have it while the curs were yelping.