Romney team “optimistic” that floor fight over rules can be avoided

posted at 11:21 am on August 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Give the followers of Ron Paul credit for this misstep by Team Romney.  They apparently spooked the nominee’s campaign enough to provoke a floor fight over delegate control, which blew up in their face rather spectacularly yesterday.  By the end of the business day, Team Romney had retreated to a compromise proposal that seems to be gaining a little momentum, but is still far from over.  Jazz Shaw had a good analysis of the situation on Sunday, and yesterday the Texas delegation threatened to go into full rebellion:

Texans, who select their delegates through a voting process that often elevates grassroots activists, say the change is an affront to the Lone Star State.

“We believe in Texas as a principle that no presidential candidate nor the RNC should be able to tell Texas who can or cannot be a delegate to the national convention,” said Butch Davis, a Lone Star State representative on the RNC rules committee. “It’s not a plain vanilla political fight. It’s a fundamental principle that we’re arguing for.”

Davis said the battle is over fundamental freedoms and voting rights: “This isn’t Reagan versus Ford, Goldwater versus Rockefeller,” Davis said. “This is George Washington versus King George.”

“We won’t allow this control by Republican candidate to take place,” Davis added.

By yesterday evening, Romney’s team had backpedaled significantly, but perhaps not to the extent sought by the suddenly-angered delegates:

 Jim Bopp, a conservative delegate who had led the opposition to Mr. Romney’s proposed rules, issued a statement on Monday, saying he was pleased with the compromise.

“The Romney for President campaign has heard the concerns of the conservative grass-roots voices in our party and has crafted an amendment to the rules adopted on Friday to address these concerns,” Mr. Bopp said.

Under the compromise, delegates would be selected by the state and local level without interference or control by the party’s presidential candidate. That would allow competing voices inside the convention, both sides said.

But in a nod to the concerns of Mr. Romney’s campaign, delegates sent on behalf of a candidate would be required to vote to nominate that candidate on the first ballot. If they tried to vote for someone else, their vote would be recorded for the candidate to whom they were bound.

We’ll come back to the concept of “bound delegates” in a moment.  Today, BuzzFeed reports that Team Romney feels more optimistic about this controversy dissipating before a floor demonstration:

“It’s an evolving process and its going well,” Romney aide Ron Kaufman, a longtime RNC insider, told BuzzFeed Tuesday morning. …

“Everyone wants the same thing,” he said.

Romney’s goal, he said, was merely to allow the party more flexibility in changing its rules in responding the changing political circumstances, something Democrats can do now and which, he said, “gives them a political advantage.”

I understand the anger over the initial proposed rules change, but it springs from a ridiculous anachronism in the presidential nomination process in both parties: caucuses.  Primaries almost always result in bound delegates, and they also reflect the will of the voters in each state; they also don’t take days to tally from handwritten sheets.  Caucuses may allow for grassroots activism, but they also create embarrassments for the parties and the candidates, as we saw this year in Iowa, Nevada, Maine, and other states.  Delegates selected in primaries represent voters of that state, while delegates selected in caucuses represent themselves.  Which is actually more valuable to the process of nominating a candidate?

Why not get rid of them altogether — and get rid of nominating conventions, too?  That’s what I argue in my column today for The Week.  Here’s the practical argument, which is that the little remaining novelty of nominating conventions has been eclipsed by the Internet for at least a decade:

In the evenings, of course, conventions feature more provocative fare — politicians giving speeches. Before the advent of the internet, this may have provided a novelty for some Americans, who otherwise would not have had an opportunity to see a potential nominee speak at length, having had to satisfy themselves instead with sound bites provided by local and national news broadcasters. Today, however, every speech given by a politician lives forever on their websites, YouTube channels, Tumblr pages, and Facebook accounts. Not only can voters watch speeches at their own pace, they can also watch commentary on the speeches, read the transcripts, and debate their meaning on social-networking platforms — all with or without a national convention.

Perhaps this is why a Rasmussen poll this week shows that most voters have little interest in the national conventions of either party. Twenty-seven percent of likely voters will watch all or most of the Republican and/or Democratic conventions; only 16 percent of independents plan to do so. The likelihood of these being previously unengaged and undecided voters is not exactly high, and even before the convention coverage starts, 35 percent of likely voters believe the media has paid too much attention to them.

Nor does a convention seem to matter that much in the outcome of the election. Gallup reviewed the last 15 presidential elections and found that the candidate leading in their poll prior to either convention won 12 of the 15 contests. The three exceptions — 1988, 1992, and 2004 — had no particular convention issue for either party that suddenly boosted or demolished a nominee.

This floor fight is another reason to get rid of caucuses and nominating conventions, unless needed when primaries don’t produce a clear winner.  We’re having a fight over whether bound delegates should vote as bound, at the same time we’re nominating the candidate who won overwhelmingly.  Voters who cast their ballots in primaries certainly expect them to vote as bound, at least on the first ballot; caucus state delegates are (mostly) not bound anyway.  All of this nonsense produces nothing but dissension, division, and uncertainty months after voters had their say, and just weeks before the general election.  That’s not a system for success for either party, nor is it a system set up to do the will of voters overall.

Each party still needs a convention to handle rules changes and the platform planks, but that doesn’t mean that the nomination has to be part of the convention, either, unless the primaries don’t produce a clear winner.  Voters mostly don’t care about the four-day pageants, nor do they make any real difference in the outcome of elections, but we spend tens of millions of dollars to stage them.  Maybe we should seriously rethink this before 2016.


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Stay classy people…
/BISHOP!!

Khun Joe on August 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Plus, why do we have nominating conventions at all?

I think Ed just made the comments section on necessary.

abobo on August 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Where’s that imbecile bayview to tell me what a bitter clinger I am for seeing this story with perfect clarity yesterday?

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Khun Joe on August 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

You steal my first again and I’ll effin end ya!!

abobo on August 28, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Khun Joe on August 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

You steal my first again and I’ll effin end ya!!

abobo on August 28, 2012 at 11:24 AM

ROTFLMAO… Yup, he has to start his car sometime… ;p

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Agree Ed

Time to eighty six the caucus

cmsinaz on August 28, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Ego’s…Mitt is going to be selected, so just do it and move on…save the battle for another day.

right2bright on August 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Davis said the battle is over fundamental freedoms and voting rights: “This isn’t Reagan versus Ford, Goldwater versus Rockefeller,” Davis said. “This is George Washington versus King George Vladimir Lenin.”

This is life or death for this country. If that Commie is re-elected, then I think that America will have passed the point of no return.

It will be proof that half of her voters are committed Communists.

And Communists are like cockroaches.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

the Texas delegation threatened to go into full rebellion:

I’m not a Paulnut but what exactly did Romney’s people expect?

Whatever, they need to make it right.

CorporatePiggy on August 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

“Full rebellion.” I love it. Keep it up, grassroots, and push these pushy but chestless men back every time. Make them think twice the next time they try any RINO power-grabbing shite.

rrpjr on August 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Remember, we are a republic, not a democracy and you will not end up writing ignorant posts like this.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Voters mostly don’t care about the four-day pageants, nor do they make any real difference in the outcome of elections, but we spend tens of millions of dollars to stage them. Maybe we should seriously rethink this before 2016.

The local talk radio programming is coming from Tampa this week and being from DC, they get all the pundits they want to stop by and talk to them. The concensus is that this is the last time you will see a four-day convention.

That being said, how many more conventions are we going to have to put up with these nasty Ron Paul people who are more content to be rude and disruptive than see the opposition candidate go down in defeat?

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I am pro-paul and I dont care about this.

nathor on August 28, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Nevada’s rule on binding delegates is very similar to the compromise, but it didn’t prevent Ronulans from taking over the State Convention and making themselves a majority of the delegates, which sparked further fights as to whether or not they were actually bound by the caucus vote once they got to the RNC.

It also meant that Luap Nor delegates from NV would be free to make “mischief” (a word used by a Paul supporter at the Nevada Convention) during the nomination process.

I think that the original rule was designed to make sure that the delegates awarded to a candidate would be loyal to that candidate, and wouldn’t travel to the convention with an alternate agenda.

Reno_Dave on August 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Remember, we are a republic, not a democracy and you will not end up writing ignorant posts like this.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM

we are a democratic republic… what exacly is the problem? I am pro-paul and i dont get it

nathor on August 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Screw Mitt, screw his ego, screw inevitability, TAKE IT TO THE FLOOR! Ed, your seeming absence of outrage is very disheartening, and for you to dismiss grassroots activism on the alter of avoiding “embarrassments for the parties and the candidates” is something you should reflect upon.

Western_Civ on August 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

This is life or death for this country. If that Commie is re-elected, then I think that America will have passed the point of no return.

It will be proof that half of her voters are committed Communists.

And Communists are like cockroaches.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Sweet, the end of the pushing off onto others the price of your luxuries today.
The problem with your argument though is that when put side by side, Obama and Romney are hard to distinguish…

Who put activist progressives on the bench while he was an executive.
Who hired noted Malthusian John Holdren to advise him?
Who attacked coal fired power plants?
Who presed to have nuclear power shut down?
Who instituted a mandate on their citizens to buy health insurance?
Who forced christian hospitals to provide aborton services and insurance for said same?
Who worked feverishly to get a cap and trade program running during his time as executive?

If you answered only one or the other on any of these, then you are not fully aware of who we have running for president.

Romney will be a bigger disaster for the country than was George W Bush. The next democratic president after Obama will likely be as empowered with a pliable congress as Obama was, if not more so once the failures of Romney come to light.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

If in fact Team Mitt did this in response to the Paulestinians, they have nobody but themselves to blame.

All they had to do was allow Ron Paul to be nominated from the floor, and held an actual tally of delegates, which Romney would have won handily.

Instead, they opted for Option B, which still might get very, very messy.

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

GOP insider whispers: “Lets just go full RINO and deem Mitt the candidate. After all we RINOs are beloved by all. Hey Karl, don’t bogart that joint, dude.”

CorporatePiggy on August 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

we are a democratic republic…

nathor on August 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

No, we are not, The United States is a Constitutional Republic.

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Screw Mitt, screw his ego, screw inevitability, TAKE IT TO THE FLOOR! Ed, your seeming absence of outrage is very disheartening, and for you to dismiss grassroots activism on the alter of avoiding “embarrassments for the parties and the candidates” is something you should reflect upon.

Western_Civ on August 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

SCREW YOU! This isn’t grassroots activism it is thuggery by a bunch of spoiled children. Party conventions are all about party unity behind the nominee, not a bunch of potheads trying to make a big issue out of nothing for no other reason than to be disruptive.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

we are a democratic republic… what exacly is the problem? I am pro-paul and i dont get it

nathor on August 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Yes, but the whole thing is about Romney’s team taking the republic part out of the equation. Like Iran does, they stack the election process and proclaim 99% solidarity behind their candidate. Seems the “consrvatives” are hell bent upon this country becoming a dictatorship.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Seems like the GOP has forgotten who engineered their vitory in 2010. Here’s a clue: it wasn’t the establishment. Levin is hot about this.

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

“This isn’t Reagan versus Ford, Goldwater versus Rockefeller,” Davis said. “This is George Washington versus King George.”

Why don’t you buy a little perspective, Mr. Davis. The world ain’t going to end because your guy lost the primaries.

KingGold on August 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

SCREW YOU! This isn’t grassroots activism it is thuggery by a bunch of spoiled children. Party conventions are all about party unity behind the nominee, not a bunch of potheads trying to make a big issue out of nothing for no other reason than to be disruptive.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Ahmadinijad thanks you! Hugo Chavez thanks you!

If this were the case, then the nomination process would not require a convention. You do not know much about history, eh?

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Why don’t you buy a little perspective, Mr. Davis Gold. The world ain’t going to end because your guy lost the

primaries

presidential election.

KingGold on August 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

works both ways. funny that. but, OH MY GOD, the nation will fall if Obama is reelected, so if you stay home you are a TRAITOR and commie supporting lunatic jerk pedophile and any other derogatory term i can think of at the moment.

SCREW YOU, the GOP picked the wrong candidate, I will not support him in any way what so ever period.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

SCREW YOU, the GOP picked the wrong candidate, I will not support him in any way what so ever period.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

<—— Wow, talk about tiny dick syndrome…

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM

We’re having a fight over whether bound delegates should vote as bound, at the same time we’re nominating the candidate who won overwhelmingly.

No, it’s over more than that. This may have started with RP and the caucuses, but that’s not what’s at stake at the moment. I’m surprised you didn’t take the time to discuss the exact proposed rule changes and analyze them.

MM has the full take at her site on what’s going on and what’s at stake.

http://michellemalkin.com/2012/08/27/floor-fight-grass-roots-activists-battle-attempt-to-rig-gop-convention-delegate-rules/

This is a summary from one of the e-mails she quotes:

We need all conservative Republican grassroots supporters to contact their state GOP and let them know that they OPPOSE the rules change that will give future presidential campaigns control over who gets to be a delegate (current RULE 15, but is being renumbered to 16)…and OPPOSE the new RULE 12 which allows the RNC to change the rules at any time between conventions.

There are Romney supporters in Tampa who do not want these rules changed. Last night a compromise, as I understand it, on 15/16 was discussed to make the delegates bound, but still have states choose their own delegates. Nothing had been done on Rule 12.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

That being said, how many more conventions are we going to have to put up with these nasty Ron Paul people who are more content to be rude and disruptive than see the opposition candidate go down in defeat?

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Perhaps you would like some cheese to go with that whine?

Ron Paul’s people are there because they outhustled people and outorganized people in some states. You don’t like it? Change the rules, as Ed suggested. But don’t blame people for knowing the rules, playing by them, playing hard, and taking care of business.

Because where I come from, that’s what politics is all about. And in some staes now, like MN, IA, and NV, if you really want to change those rules, you are going to have to either work with, or defeat the Ron Paul people, who are now in charge of the state party apparatus.

Or you could continue to whine about it…

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

My post wasn’t pro-Romney, it was anti-Commie. Whatever Romney is, he isn’t an open and avowed, unashamed Communist.

Obamuh is – the People know it – and if he’s re-elected, I think that America will descend into the cesspool of Statism, forever.

It might, regardless.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

“This is George Washington versus King Curious George.”

Disclaimer: Racial pun not intended.

Archivarix on August 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

works both ways. funny that. but, OH MY GOD, the nation will fall if Obama is reelected, so if you stay home you are a TRAITOR and commie supporting lunatic jerk pedophile and any other derogatory term i can think of at the moment.

SCREW YOU, the GOP picked the wrong candidate, I will not support him in any way what so ever period.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

So stay home. Throw your little temper tantrum because Newt Gingrich didn’t win. No one cares at this point.

changer1701 on August 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

SCREW YOU! This isn’t grassroots activism it is thuggery by a bunch of spoiled children. Party conventions are all about party unity behind the nominee, not a bunch of potheads trying to make a big issue out of nothing for no other reason than to be disruptive.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

One issue that particularly bothers me here is how many “conservatives” are tolerant of thuggery. While I’m sure that some of the thuggery enablers that post at HotAir are libertarians or even leftist trolls, many support Romney!

thuja on August 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

If this were the case, then the nomination process would not require a convention. You do not know much about history, eh?

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I marvel at how one insignificant troll can cram so much ignorance into each and every post. Why not go back to the days when the VP was the second-place candidate? The days where the party needed to convene to determine a nominee for President are long over. The primary race was decided long before the primaries were over. The party should convene, nominate the winner by acclamation, and get on with the messaging for the general election.

Why let a bunch of spoiled crybabies whose racist candidate never had a chance of getting the party nomination suck all the attention away from the real purpose of the convention?

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 11:55 AM

INC on August 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Yep. Whilst dealing with the Paul groupies, the power bosses decided to look ahead a bit and also get another pesky group under control. Never let a crisis go to waste is a favorite GOP saying,….isn’t it?

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I think it is time to end caucuses and just go to straight primaries. Obama took advantage of caucuses on the Dem side to steal the nomination from Hillary in 2008, too.

crosspatch on August 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Sidebar: America is a federal republic. It is composed of both a Federal and State governments, and the will of the People is supposed to be embraced and reflected by those who are voted into office – acting as representatives of the People.

Any reference to “democracy” is simply bastardizing the true meaning of the word.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Ron Paul’s people are there because they outhustled people and outorganized people in some states. You don’t like it? Change the rules, as Ed suggested. But don’t blame people for knowing the rules, playing by them, playing hard, and taking care of business.

Because where I come from, that’s what politics is all about. And in some staes now, like MN, IA, and NV, if you really want to change those rules, you are going to have to either work with, or defeat the Ron Paul people, who are now in charge of the state party apparatus.

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Yes, to their credit (and you know I don’t like Ronulans) that is exactly what they did. They went out and learned the rules, and then played by them, right up until the convention.

What the Ronulans did is exactly what the TEA Party needs to do. Anyone who considers themselves a Tea Party supporter should be paying close attention to what the Ronulans did, because quiet frankly, it was inspired.

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Seems like the GOP has forgotten who engineered their vitory in 2010. Here’s a clue: it wasn’t the establishment. Levin is hot about this.

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

…Levin is RIGHT…about this.

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Hummm… is this how Romney plans to run his White House?
Is this how he plans to govern? Sending in the lawyers, circumventing the electorate when he can?

Really Romney? Is this any different than what we are living through now?

Makes you wonder.

AND WHERE THE HELL IS PAUL RYAN in this mess???

katy on August 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Just light up another joint and STFU. Ron Paul supporters style themselves as libertarians but what they really are is a bunch of ignorant potheads with no understanding of the political apparatus you claim they cherish more than life itself. Just how stupid are you? Don’t answer that, anybody who listens to Paul’s ideas about isolationism and ant-military screeds and comes out thinking he would make a good President is enough of an indicator of intelligence as anything else.

And BTW, of course Paul supporters out-hustled other candidates. Not having a job or life gives one so much more time to be stupid.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The “system” as it IS, works just fine, and just the way it is supposed to work.
The Imperious Willard the Wimp is simply attempting to quell any dissonant voices within the GOP, you know WE conservatives?
Yooooooo Hoooooo, Mittens – remember US, ya f´ing coward.
Sadly, The Establishment has more (p)sychophants than I thought.
Including those in the “new media”.
*sigh*
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on August 28, 2012 at 12:01 PM

In Nevada there have been two cycles of caucuses. Sloppily run and do not conform to published rules. They need to go.

Straight primary voting is best. It will be interesting to see if they remain.

BullShooterAsInElk on August 28, 2012 at 12:01 PM

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I love listening to Levin – for the 10 minutes, out of every hour, that he’s blistering the Commie and his apparatchiks, instead of going to commercials, or reading them, himself.

:O(

OhEssYouCowboys on August 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Yep. Whilst dealing with the Paul groupies, the power bosses decided to look ahead a bit and also get another pesky group under control. Never let a crisis go to waste is a favorite GOP saying,….isn’t it?

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Nice pointed jab. It seems it is a favorite of all power brokers.

I’ve been trying to read the latest on this.

Via MM, this is what Erick Erickson is saying today about the proposed rules. My annotations are in brackets.

Reports that the floor fight threat is over might be designed to calm the grassroots and get them to ignore what is coming at 2 o’clock.

The first rule to be proposed is one that would give the Republican National Committee the power to change rules between conventions with a three-quarters vote of the RNC. [Rule 12] One source tells me, “With a Republican President, of course this is doable. Everybody will roll over if a President Romney asks them too. They’ll be able to get Ben Ginsberg’s proposal next year.”

In other words, if Team Romney prevails in this rules change,[Rule 12] they don’t have to worry about Ben Ginsberg not getting his way today on the delegate changes. [Compromised Rule 15/16] They’ll be able to do it later when the press and grassroots are not watching. [IOW do what they want to do]

The second rules change [Rule ?] would front load winner takes all primaries. Grassroots conservatives point to both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as reasons to stop this rule. Had there been front loaded winner takes all primaries, neither the Gingrich nor the Santorum campaigns would have been able to get any traction.

He says the Rules Committee is meeting today at 2 pm.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM

The GOPE just doesn’t want to wipe out the Paulbots but Tea Party and grassroots too……in fact this has less to do with Paulbots and more to do with the influence of the Tea Party in 2016 and beyond. Romney, Jeb and Rubio (fake Tea Partier) desires to clear out all opposition

journeymike on August 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I agree.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Remember, we are a republic, not a democracy and you will not end up writing ignorant posts like this.…I am an azzhole!

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM

…there…had to fix it for you!

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM

My post wasn’t pro-Romney, it was anti-Commie. Whatever Romney is, he isn’t an open and avowed, unashamed Communist.

Obamuh is – the People know it – and if he’s re-elected, I think that America will descend into the cesspool of Statism, forever.

It might, regardless.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I got you. You can tell who a person is by their actions. This action is an out and out demand to have absolute total control over the nominating process, much like democratic dictatorships demand to have that countrol. It tells you who Rmney is inside. It shows you what his direction will be once in power. it is a step, the first and last or the first of many? Hugo did not get to be president for life with a single rules change. It started somewhere, with a small tweak here, a bigger one there, a huge one followed by even larger changes.

Romney has said his views are progressive, he has proven it throughout his political career, and he is putting it into motion with this power grab. I am tired of the government making more and more powergrabs.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Not only can voters watch speeches at their own pace, they can also watch commentary on the speeches, read the transcripts, and debate their meaning on social-networking platforms — all with or without a national convention.

The election is decided by a small number of voters. Many of these voters are unengaged, and may have little or no contact with political dope on the web

Twenty-seven percent of likely voters will watch all or most of the Republican and/or Democratic conventions; only 16 percent of independents plan to do so. The likelihood of these being previously unengaged and undecided voters is not exactly high, and even before the convention coverage starts, 35 percent of likely voters believe the media has paid too much attention to them.

Parties spend millions to reach the uninformed, unformed voter. THey are worth it in payback

IMHO the best part about conventions is the phoniness. It connects the voter to the way they are being played.

Conventions are vulgar, creepy and insulting to the intelligence. Pompous fools are given invaluable time to make speeches. This is good. The public has to see who is running the operation.

Take away the oonvention and most people will not know the depth of the parties. Conventions are payback for the local pol-meister who delivered and now wants personal time and back slaps from the big shots. Ego is the driver and ego must be fed

Human condition guarantees organizations become imbedded with control freaks, and power groups will manipulate to control and distort the system. This is true of a PTA group, a church, anywhere there are at least two members.

Fools at gatherings will slip their guard and reveal themselves. Sometimes they end up photographed with a lampshade on their head. Sometimes they try to slip a fast one into the rules or platform. All for the good to see how a party handles the mess ups

IMHO the parties have been perfecting control of the primary process and have learned how to block dissidents. Not good to stop accountability at the primary, where the deals and minipulations are camouflaged

entagor on August 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM

No, we’re voting on whether the RNC should be given absolute dictatorial power of the convention process or not. This was an unnecessary fight the RNC chose to pick with the grassroots, showing their complete incompetence. More here and the latest here

michaelo on August 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

…there…had to fix it for you!

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM

See above post where I said that was your only real tactic. Call people names. You are an amature at it though.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

SCREW YOU, the GOP picked the wrong candidate, I will not support him in any way what so ever period.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I agree in so far as your contention that the GOP didn’t pick the best guy. But here’s how I look at the situation.

Obama wins = We’re phucked. No chance at repeal, no chance at reducing the role of gov’t, no chance of monetary sanity.

Romney wins = There’s a chance of all of the above. A chance(even a minute one) is more than no chance and I’d rather have that tiny sliver than be phucked yet again.

No one else has a chance of winning, to deny it would be stupid at best.

StompUDead on August 28, 2012 at 12:09 PM

michaelo on August 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

There are not many intelligent people left on this site. Not since it turned into a pro Romney love nest back around the Florida primary.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM

See above post where I said that was your only real tactic. Call people names. You are an amature at it though.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

…let’s take a poll!…you are what you are.

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM

…let’s take a poll!…you are what you are.

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM

He’s an Obot.

JPeterman on August 28, 2012 at 12:15 PM

In Nevada there have been two cycles of caucuses. Sloppily run and do not conform to published rules. They need to go.

Straight primary voting is best. It will be interesting to see if they remain.

BullShooterAsInElk on August 28, 2012 at 12:01 PM

While the NV caucuses had some relatively minor problems (that were reported in Clark County, not Washoe, where I am,) the main issue was that the actual delegates to the RNC are/were selected months after the vote of caucus attendees.

I believe that there are also a few states that hold a primary, but also select delegates at the state convention.

So if you stack the state convention with supporters, you have a chance to dominate the delegate vote.

The way around this is to choose delegate slates for each candidate before the primary or caucus, with delegates proportioned from the various lists.

Reno_Dave on August 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM

BTW: Ed does NOT address the real value of the conventions; the one-on-one personal networking that the internet CANNOT provide. He might as well argue that CPAC should not meet.

michaelo on August 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

SCREW YOU! This isn’t grassroots activism it is thuggery by a bunch of spoiled children. Party conventions are all about party unity behind the nominee, not a bunch of potheads trying to make a big issue out of nothing for no other reason than to be disruptive.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Party unity? Really? Do you think this flip-flopping dreck named Willard can get himself carried over the finish line without grassroots activism? I think you’re the one smoking something. Or maybe you’re another hack sitting there waiting for government contract largess once your guy gets in. If the party can’t figure out that there’s a breaking point to its internal abuses of adherents, just as we’ve reached the breaking point with progressives, it may fracture before the election–not after it.

Western_Civ on August 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM

…in other words…

SCREW YOU

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM

He’s an Obot.

JPeterman on August 28, 2012 at 12:15 PM

No evidence of any such thing.
Plenty of evidence that you are a Rombot…
Projecting much?

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM

BTW: Ed does NOT address the real value of the conventions; the one-on-one personal networking that the internet CANNOT provide. He might as well argue that CPAC should not meet.

michaelo on August 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Excellent point. There’s an opportunity to build morale and encourage.

Thanks for the links!

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM

No evidence of any such thing.
Plenty of evidence that you are a Rombot…
Projecting much?

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I’m an ABO. You on the other hand are an Obot.

I am tired of sitting home. I will actively vote Obama and get my family to join me if the nominee is Romney. While it would be nice to get a better job between 2013 and 2017, I am willing to wait.

astonerii on January 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Own it.

JPeterman on August 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

This issue is, and has always been, intended to work out a deal. Both sides wanted something, these are the negotiations.

Any negotiator knows that one begins asking for the moon and works down to the point one actually needed to be, to the goal one actually intended, from there.

The amusing thing is that the only people in a lather over this are those who wanted to take over the convention in the first place.

Its not going to happen. These issues will be worked out and resolved and the convention and election will continue apace.

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Screw Mitt, screw his ego, screw inevitability, TAKE IT TO THE FLOOR! Ed, your seeming absence of outrage is very disheartening, and for you to dismiss grassroots activism on the alter of avoiding “embarrassments for the parties and the candidates” is something you should reflect upon.

Western_Civ on August 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Ditto²
I agreed with Mark Levin too last night too and that aint everyday stuff.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on August 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM

No one else has a chance of winning, to deny it would be stupid at best.

StompUDead on August 28, 2012 at 12:09 PM

There are a lot of otherwise intelligent, but immature people whose preferred candidate did not get chosen who are now so profoundly butthurt that they would rather see the entire country go up in flames.

We did not get the perfect candidate in Mitt Romney, the brutal truth that those uber butthurt folks cannot grasp or accept is, that there was no perfect candidate, not even the one they invested their personal self worth in.

So now we have a serious fracas at the convention where various and sundry members of the self anointed GOP Aristocracy attempted to pull a coup using the immaturity and stupidity of the Ronulans as cover and they got caught.

Ed (a RINO statist to be sure) is right about one thing, it’s time to end the caucuses. The primary and caucuses system was designed at a time when it took weeks for information to travel just a few hundred miles. Today if something happens, word of it reaches the furthest corners of the planet in minuets.

The nominating process needs to be brought into the 21 century. All caucuses should be eliminated and all primaries held on the same day. In today’s world their really is no rational or logical justification why as a resident of the State of California I should have zero say in who is nominated.

If Bank of America can have a machine for access to my personal banking information that is safe and secure enough for my personal banking needs there is absolutely no justifiable reason a voting system cannot be done the exact same way.

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM

SCREW YOU, the GOP picked the wrong candidate, I will not support him in any way what so ever period.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Oh, bless your heart.

Now go back outside and play with the other children.

Gunlock Bill on August 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I dunno. That Rule #12 tends to tell the tale.

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM

No evidence of any such thing.
Plenty of evidence that you are a Rombot…
Projecting much?

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I’m an ABO. You on the other hand are an Obot.

I am tired of sitting home. I will actively vote Obama and get my family to join me if the nominee is Romney. While it would be nice to get a better job between 2013 and 2017, I am willing to wait.

astonerii on January 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM
Own it.

JPeterman on August 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

…thanks!…I just remember what they say…and don’t pay any attention to them, once I see they have no memory of their own BS…they are not worth the time or effort to converse with.

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Screw Mitt, screw his ego, screw inevitability, TAKE IT TO THE FLOOR! Ed, your seeming absence of outrage is very disheartening, and for you to dismiss grassroots activism on the alter of avoiding “embarrassments for the parties and the candidates” is something you should reflect upon.

Western_Civ on August 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM

CorporatePiggy on August 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Ditto²
I agreed with Mark Levin too last night too and that aint everyday stuff.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on August 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM

And many others.

Let me get this straight: you’re actually arguing that rules that maximize the importance of smoke-filled rooms, potentially allowing a few party heads, cronies and well-organized minuscule groups to subvert the will of the people and Republican voters, are the ones who favor grass-roots? While a rule that ties the certification of the delegates to the popular vote, is an elitist and establishment plot?

Bizarro world?

The only ones who benefit from the current rules are candidates who cant’ get support from Republican primary votes but have well organized supporters who then take over state conventions and small caucuses.

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Rule 12 reminds me of New England town halls and school board meetings.

When we lived in NH, the first time we attended one we were surprised to see that after a motion was passed, someone would stand up and move that the passed motion could not be overturned.

We’d never seen this before. We naively thought a passed motion was passed, over and done.

We were told this came about because as a meeting would wind down and people would leave, those who stayed to the bitter end would vote again and overturn any passed motions they didn’t like, and then vote for what they did want.

Roberts Rules of Order it was not.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

…thanks!…I just remember what they say…and don’t pay any attention to them, once I see they have no memory of their own BS…they are not worth the time or effort to converse with.

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Does not make me an OBOT ROMBOT! You aughta figure out the meaning of words you ignorant loser.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM

As I said, in negotiations begin with a starting point that is off the table to begin with and then negotiate back to where you actually wanted to be to settle the deal.

12 is the moon. If you get it, from your sides perspective, its like a gift. If you don’t you’re not out anything, you merely established a high starting point for the negotiations. Its gives you somewhere to begin, works as a shock factor to put the opposition off balance, which gives you the psychological advantage in negotiation, since it puts the opposition playing defense immediately.

Then, as you work down to what you wanted anyway, you can afford to be generous and let the opposition walk away from the table thinking they’ve garnered some sort of victory in denying you your starting point.

Everyone shakes hands and the deal is struck. Everyone walks away feeling like a winner.

Its the heart and soul of politics.

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I’m all for bound delegates, and not letting someone vote on the first round for a person their state did not choose, but the rest of these proposed rules need to go.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM

As long as there are primaries, the candidate should certify his own delegates to the convention.

Can anyone explain to me why on earth can a candidate win 85% of the vote in a state primary/caucus and then get zero or close delegates from that state because a group of fanatics hijacked the state convention?

And why is this giving power to the grassroots? It seems to me it’s giving power to partisan hacks.

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM

From MM:

Update: Freedomworks’ Michael Duncan reports a purge may now be underway:

just got off the phone with a concerned Florida activist, Laura Noble, who informed me that both of Florida’s Rules Committee members, Peter Feaman and Kathleen King, have been removed from the Rules committee and replaced with Romney-appointed delegates.

Clearly anticipating a grassroots backlash against the “compromise” on Rule 15 and the changes on Rule 12 has caused the Romney camp to preemptively replace delegates to ensure they have support on the Rules Committee.

It’s enough to make your blood boil. Please call your state’s Rules Committee delegates here and ask that they oppose the “compromise” on Rule 15, oppose the changes to Rule 12, and support the full Minority Reports on the Rules.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM

The best summary is over at MM’s site. She has a long post, but it’s worth reading to understand the issues at stake.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM

SCREW YOU, the GOP picked the wrong candidate, I will not support him in any way what so ever period.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

What a drama queen!

Vince on August 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM

“The Boss” rocks!

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I hear ya. In your mind I am quite convinced it works out to the end goal that you imagine it does. That whole idea that we are a Republic, so outdated, what the hell does that word even mean? What on earth were the founding father’s thinking when they used such a back ward action. The only place things should matter is the democracy aspect. Mob rule, he with the largest mob wins, those on the smaller side shut the f^ck up and get in line, you have no say!
I wonder when the Republican party started getting the progressive liberal bent people to be so open about their progressive liberal tendencies?

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Here is the latest from Malkin….

http://michellemalkin.com/

Update 12:23pm Eastern Rush Limbaugh weighed in this afternoon: “The establishment GOP wants to kick conservatives out of the party.”

Update: Freedomworks’ Michael Duncan reports a purge may now be underway:
just got off the phone with a concerned Florida activist, Laura Noble, who informed me that both of Florida’s Rules Committee members, Peter Feaman and Kathleen King, have been removed from the Rules committee and replaced with Romney-appointed delegates.
Clearly anticipating a grassroots backlash against the “compromise” on Rule 15 and the changes on Rule 12 has caused the Romney camp to preemptively replace delegates to ensure they have support on the Rules Committee.
It’s enough to make your blood boil. Please call your state’s Rules Committee delegates here and ask that they oppose the “compromise” on Rule 15, oppose the changes to Rule 12, and support the full Minority Reports on the Rules.

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM

“The Boss” rocks!

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM

That she does! She was on top of this all last evening and now today. People e-mail and contact her because they know she’ll use the info.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Paultard got pwned.

catmman on August 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Seems like the GOP has forgotten who engineered their vitory in 2010. Here’s a clue: it wasn’t the establishment. Levin is hot about this.

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

THIS!! Not only Levin, but Rush (today) and Malkin and many other Conservative sites as well.

Take it to the Floor!!!

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Does not make me an OBOT ROMBOT! You aughta figure out the meaning of words you ignorant loser.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

…pull my finger sweetie!

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I can’t believe they kicked off my state Committee members.

Also from MM:

http://www.preservetheparty.com/

According to http://www.preservetheparty.com, a website started this week by delegates to help raise awareness on this issue, proposed rule 12 reads: “The Republican National Committee may, by three-fourths (3/4) vote of its entire membership, amend Rule Nos. 1-11 and 13-25. Any such amendment shall be considered by the Republican National Committee only if it was passed by a majority vote of the Standing Committee on Rules after having been submitted in writing at least ten (10) days in advance of its consideration by the Republican National Committee and shall take effect thirty (30) days after adoption. No such amendment shall be adopted after September 30, 2014.

The language of rule 12 makes the compromise on Rule 16, which would essentially allow a candidate to hire and fire delegates as they see fit, a farce, the RNC can simply go back and rewrite the rules once the convention is over.

I spoke with Jeremy Blosser, a Texas delegate, who is furious over the compromise because it does not address proposed rule 12.

“Some are answering that Rule 12 has checks and balances, but far too much is being made of these. There’s no “emergency changes only” requirement, and it’s clear from the debate offered in the committee that the intention is to not restrict it to emergency changes but to allow consideration of substantive and controversial changes that the candidates prevent being discussed during the convention media cycle. There’s no ratification requirement such as requiring a number of State Executive Committees to ratify, or the next national convention to ratify. There’s no attempt to preserve the strength of the individual states.”

If this rule stands it will operate as a contingency plan for the RNC, should Grassroots organizations gain more influence than RNC leadership is comfortable with. This must be stopped.

The vote is happening today. Please call your state’s Rules Committee delegates here and voice your opposition to the “compromise” on Rule 15, as well as to the changes to Rule 12, and support the full Minority Reports on the Rules.

http://www.preservetheparty.com/ has text of proposed rule changes and the minority reports.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Update 12:23pm Eastern Rush Limbaugh weighed in this afternoon: “The establishment GOP wants to kick conservatives out of the party.”

First, the speaker scheduling. Now, this.

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Can anyone explain to me why on earth can a candidate win 85% of the vote in a state primary/caucus and then get zero or close delegates from that state because a group of fanatics hijacked the state convention?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I’m guessing by “hijacked”, you mean people showed up, knew the rules beforehand, played by the rules, made sure everyone else played by the rules, and stayed until all business was finished.

Unless, of course, you can provide a link where gunmen stormed these conventions, and installed their own delegates without a vote.

So, I’ll wait for you to provide that link, or admit that you were full of shiite when you said the state conventions were “hijacked”.

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM

There are a lot of otherwise intelligent, but immature people whose preferred candidate did not get chosen who are now so profoundly butthurt that they would rather see the entire country go up in flames.

We did not get the perfect candidate in Mitt Romney, the brutal truth that those uber butthurt folks cannot grasp or accept is, that there was no perfect candidate, not even the one they invested their personal self worth in.

Romney was my absolute last choice. I know who he is and what he’s done in the past as Gov. I have SERIOUS reservations about the course he will take once (if) elected to be POTUS. He is still a far cry better than Obama and that’s utterly baffling given Romney’s liberal bent in the past.

So now we have a serious fracas at the convention where various and sundry members of the self anointed GOP Aristocracy attempted to pull a coup using the immaturity and stupidity of the Ronulans as cover and they got caught.

I get that, I just don’t know why people are freaking out about it. If they got away with it then I’d be pissing napalm right now, but fortunately the conseravtive/libertarian arm of the party is keeping a watchful eye on the R&R campaign. Precisely what we need from them throughout a Romney presidency. It bodes well in my eyes.

Ed (a RINO statist to be sure) is right about one thing, it’s time to end the caucuses. The primary and caucuses system was designed at a time when it took weeks for information to travel just a few hundred miles. Today if something happens, word of it reaches the furthest corners of the planet in minuets.

The nominating process needs to be brought into the 21 century. All caucuses should be eliminated and all primaries held on the same day. In today’s world their really is no rational or logical justification why as a resident of the State of California I should have zero say in who is nominated.

The logical and rational reason is that you’re in California. / :)

If Bank of America can have a machine for access to my personal banking information that is safe and secure enough for my personal banking needs there is absolutely no justifiable reason a voting system cannot be done the exact same way.

SWalker on August 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Laziness and corruptability is the reason. If the system isn’t easily corruptable the pols have little use for it, it seems.

StompUDead on August 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM

One issue that particularly bothers me here is how many “conservatives” are tolerant of thuggery. While I’m sure that some of the thuggery enablers that post at HotAir are libertarians or even leftist trolls, many support Romney!

thuja on August 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I’m a Conservative and Romney and his Atty are the ones that put these Rules Changes up. Ben Ginsberg is a Bush Atty also. This is a huge Power Grab.

Romney has jumped the shark with this.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM

The only ones who benefit from the current rules are candidates who cant’ get support from Republican primary votes but have well organized supporters who then take over state conventions and small caucuses.

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Here’s the way to handle that. Stack the Rules Committee. All neat and clean, now.

just got off the phone with a concerned Florida activist, Laura Noble, who informed me that both of Florida’s Rules Committee members, Peter Feaman and Kathleen King, have been removed from the Rules committee and replaced with Romney-appointed delegates.

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM

“It’s a direct attack on grassroots activists by the GOP establishment, and it must be rejected. Please follow the link to Michelle Malkin’s article about this.”

-Sarah Palin

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I’m guessing by “hijacked”, you mean people showed up, knew the rules beforehand, played by the rules, made sure everyone else played by the rules, and stayed until all business was finished.

Unless, of course, you can provide a link where gunmen stormed these conventions, and installed their own delegates without a vote.

So, I’ll wait for you to provide that link, or admit that you were full of shiite when you said the state conventions were “hijacked”.

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Oh, by hijacked I meant exactly that. Hijack by the force of the numbers at the convention, even though they’re a small minority in their state.

Now, can you explain it?

Can anyone explain to me why on earth can a candidate win 85% of the vote in a state primary/caucus and then get zero or close delegates from that state because a group of fanatics “hijacked” the state convention?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM

I think it is time to end caucuses and just go to straight primaries. Obama took advantage of caucuses on the Dem side to steal the nomination from Hillary in 2008, too.

crosspatch on August 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM

That’s certainly true. B.O. won all of the Caucus State votes and I think IIRC, Hillary won most of the Primaries.

What I don’t understand is whether the State decides to have a Caucus or is it the RNC?

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM

This post should be updated. What’s happening at the Convention is disgusting.

Is Team Romney trying to throw the fight? It’s enough to make me rethink my vote.

conservative pilgrim on August 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Rush just said Romney & Team are removing a rule right before the 2PM vote. Then he went to break, so waiting on the details.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I see that you have decided to stick with the “I think I’ll whine some more” option.

Not really surprising…

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 1:01 PM

What I don’t understand is whether the State decides to have a Caucus or is it the RNC?

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM

States.

StompUDead on August 28, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Update 12:23pm Eastern Rush Limbaugh weighed in this afternoon: “The establishment GOP wants to kick conservatives out of the party.”

First, the speaker scheduling. Now, this.

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM

…I think after the election jester…there may be another party forming!

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2012 at 1:02 PM

The only ones who benefit from the current rules are candidates who cant’ get support from Republican primary votes but have well organized supporters who then take over state conventions and small caucuses.

joana on August 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

What a load. Proportional rules that don’t frontload the process, and rules that acknowledge the delegates ACTUALLY sent by the people of the respective states are to everyone’s benefit. By your logic, the parties should get together and just handpick electors for the Electoral College and bypass the general election.

Western_Civ on August 28, 2012 at 1:02 PM

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