Gee, If Only We Had A Method Of Nomination That Didn’t Require The Loyalty Oath…

convention_2013

So I’ve read the BuzzFeed article where John Fredericks calls out RPV Chairman John Whitbeck where the exchange was… combative to say the least:

“You’ve come to all of our conventions, you’ve seen this done a thousand times,” Whitbeck replied. “And the only reason you’re losing your mind over it because you think that it impacts your candidate disproportionately, which just isn’t true.”

“To say it was targeting one particular campaign is ridiculous, it’s absurd, and there’s no way you can back that up with any hard evidence,” the chairman continued. “And so I would stop saying it before you look silly.”

…and now we have a letter — a very long letter — making the rounds that is about as close to a public meltdown as you’re going to get to the RPV Unit Chairs.  The full text probably isn’t worth recounting… only that defense is now the default position of party leadership going into January 2016.

Moreover, the bullying of new media and now radio hosts to “get the narrative right” is officially old.  Bearing Drift as well as The Bull Elephant contributors have all been threatened, and one specifically with their future prospects of working in politics by a senior staffer.  That ends starting now.

Let’s face it, this hasn’t been a very good December for Virginia Republicans.  The RPV Advance was poorly attended (despite astroturfing ticket sales), vendors were angry, “unity” was masked with side meetings to whack Comstock, Goodlatte, Hurt and Rigell, and now the obtuse imposition of a “loyalty oath” — designed to suppress Republican turnout in a government-run primary to a reliable, specific and motivated few.

The dose of reality is this: Donald Trump is absolutely right that he’s getting screwed.  Not just gonna be Trump, either.  Convention supporters warned folks early, and in a shadow vote our conservatives were knifed in midsummer of this year.  There is no question in my mind that the “statement of intent” is designed to exclude, and specifically to help one candidate and injure another.  That’s what loyalty oaths do.

Consider this — the “loyalty oath” as being imposed?  Is more strict than the requirements of a closed primary (which would permit registered Republicans and independents to participate) and even more strict than a convention.

The bottom line is very simple here.  Because we did not get a convention, Virginia Republicans will require a written statement to exercise a civil right to vote, a requirement we have not seen since the Jim Crow era.  

Frankly, that sucks.  As passed along by a friendly reader:

I oppose the signature thingy for three reasons

1) It’s stupid.
2) It’s really stupid.
3) It’s wrong
I won’t do it. If I am stopped from voting for not signing, I’m out. Easy.
Not a problem. End of relationship.
It’s not me – really, it’s you.
RPV is George Costanza.

…and that comes from a person I know to be a rock solid conservative.

Longtime readers will know that I am no fan of many of Trump’s proposals, though I have no antipathy for the man himself (argue ideas, not people — I’d get a beer with the guy).  The old observation of disapproving of what one says but defending to the death one’s right to say it?  That is an absolute bedrock principle of free speech and fair play.  Which is what our nomination contests ought to be about — and it’s high time conservatives realize that (1) we got screwed on a convention and (2) that conventions really are the best and most fair way to bring folks into the family — bar none.

Instead, we have all the worst parts of a primary system: thumbs on the scale, bullying and pushback, and worst of all?  We get an unfair process designed to exclude at the very moment when Republicans ought to be reach out and include.  We get a state-run primary… instead of a party-run convention that we all as conservatives fought for and deserved.

Russ Moulton was right.  Should have backed a convention, fellas.

UPDATE:  Remember how I said this?

Moreover, the bullying of new media and now radio hosts to “get the narrative right” is officially old.  Bearing Drift as well as The Bull Elephant contributors have all been threatened, and one specifically with their future prospects of working in politics by a senior staffer.  That ends starting now.

I meant it… SMH and all.