Grassroots conservatives from around the nation have traveled to Los Angeles for the Republican National Committee spring meeting.
A rules fight going back to the convention floor in Tampa, FL continues to rage on as many in a large minority are frustrated at the power grab and centralization effort going on within the GOP. Ben Ginsberg of the Mitt Romney campaign lead a rather successful effort in Tampa to instate rules that centralize the power of the party into the hands of an elect few and the presumed nominee. There was initial outcry as the Ginsberg team had got “too far” allowing nominees to veto and replace delegates for just about any reason they found. However, a compromise was found and the new committee rules modified just enough to pacify the opposition and still put the thumb heavily on the grassroots.
Staunch opponents say that these new rules castrate the grassroots and make the convention merely a stage show for the televised audience; a convention that would amount to nothing more than a tightly knit presentation of the GOP nominee’s platform and campaign launch. In many hypothetical scenarios these opponents may be right.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus doesn’t want to stop there. He is now advocating moving the convention date forward and compressing the primary schedule of the states allowing GOP candidates more time to campaign & sell their ideas. It also helps cut the legs out from under grassroots candidates not funded by big money backers and Washington insiders like Karl Rove.
These efforts sound like a great plan if you trust the elite party bosses and the status quo of current modern politics. However, if you still have hope for a constitutional America… An America ruled by the people for the people… Where the Washington outsiders can still overcome the crony politicians trying to hold tight to the power currently in their clutches… Then you may be with the growing minority in the grassroots. You may appreciate that a man named Ronald Reagan utilized the party rules to eventually defeat the insiders.
You may also be aware that the claims of the establishment that “delegates at the convention didn’t know we were operating under House Rules, not Robert’s Rules of Order” are completely unfounded. That in fact, the House Rules allow for debate and a point of order noting such was attempting to be called. That instead of recognizing the point of order, the chair with the power of the gavel rushed the votes forward and moved on with little care or respect for the state delegates shouting “point of order” in unison from the floor.
All of this leads us to today, when Morton Blackwell proposed an amendment to the rules committee that reverted the rules back to what they were after 2008 restoring the grassroots, but losing measures to free states of primary limitations on delegates. As he mentions in the video below, his proposal would reject what he describes as a “power grab”. Today the RNC Rules Committee debated the amendment and the Blackwell effort failed to pass the committee with a narrow vote of 28-25.
All was not lost as an immediate amendment was proposed to strike down rule 16a(1) and renumber the rules passed the committee and will be presented to the entire body. According to the new Rule 12, a three fourths vote will be required from the entire committee for the amendment to be passed. This is not a complete answer to the grassroots, but is a positive step forward to eliminate the required binding of delegates in a proportional or winner-take-all manner. Link to GOP rules here: 2012 GOP Rules.
What is yet to be determined is if the outrage within the GOP will continue to grow? Will the grassroots gain the majority and be able to turn the tide of the party back to a party of the people?