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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batter on August 28, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Kudos, nicely said!!

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Texas is rebelling. Floor fight. Oh sh!t.

steebo77 on August 28, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Cspan has a band playing:-) Texas told them in no uncertain terms if they didn’t rescind, they would fight it.

Best news I’ve heard today!

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 4:51 PM

It’s raise a stink for no good reason. Why change the rules at all? Have a nice united convention and to get Obama out of office.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 3:59 PM

It’s a two front war. Everyone wants to beat Obama and the Demos, but there is another war being fought for control of the Republican Party infrastructure. The old guard currently in control understand the Paul supporters and the Tea Party grassroots are trying to take control, and they are doing everything in their power to consolidate their control. They will not go quietly.

If they really wanted to address the purported problems, they could have raised the issues with the states using caucus procedures and unbound delegates. They wouldn’t have waited until the last minute to spring these proposals on the delegates.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 4:51 PM

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.

Beats me why Gallup chose to highlight this particular statistic… If you check the status after the final post-convention “bounce”, it turns out 14 of the candidates leading in the Gallup poll at that point ended up winning the election… The only exception is Bush vs. Gore (Gore was in the lead after the conventions).

mlindroo on August 28, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Without these rule changes, is Gov. Romney’s nomination in jeopardy?

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Calm down everyone. They are just trying to exclude grassroots conservatives. What could go wrong?

ModerateMan on August 28, 2012 at 4:52 PM

So, the odds of a third party bid just jumped by a lot, I’d say. And the odds of the TEA Party forming it’s own party by 2014 just ballooned as well.

Buckshot Bill on August 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Do the new rules say that it does not matter how people vote or who they vote for? Do they actually say that…or does Malkin say they say something like that?

I am not being facetious.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Under the compromise, no. However, if the Rule 12 end-run remains, then the rule, or any rule for that matter, can be amended anytime in the next two years — under the radar.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I wish all the states would go the primaries. CLOSED PRIMARIES!

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Yes ma’am. An open primary is as bad or worse than a caucus.

Eren on August 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

This is from the other post right here at Hot Air on this issue:

The Convention Committee on Rules took a number of steps on Friday to weaken the power of state conventions and state parties, while consolidating the power of presidential candidates in the nominating process. Some of the changes — to require that delegations from statewide caucuses and primaries to the convention adhere to the will of voters — weakened the hand of insurgent-type candidates but have been well received by the committee. But a change allowing presidential candidates the right to vet their own delegates to the national convention has many state party officials up in arms — and they are planning to bring it to the convention floor.

It does not say anything about the party at a federal level taking the right of states to pick their delegates..

There is no way to deny that there was some funny business by the Paul people in some of these state delegations.They figured out how to work that system.

I think a lot of Tea Party people are just concerned about the rule changes inhibiting their ability to pick their own delegates…they do not trust authority.I get that…but I also think that this has been blown out of proportion by some pundits and some people who have their own ax to grind.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Without these rule changes, is Gov. Romney’s nomination in jeopardy?

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Absolutely not.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I don’t think the Texans took too kindly to a yankee RINO trying to tell who could represent their state. DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS.

ModerateMan on August 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Just swell. You know me, everyone should have a voice and this move makes zero sense to me. I wonder if they would like to have a do-over.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 4:55 PM

And to think I was actually getting excited… Stupid, stupid, stupid…

I am so disgusted with this CRAPPY old party. One betrayal of the base after another. I guess we can lump Romney/ Ryan in with Boehner and his ilk. Not one more cent from me.

I will vote as part of my civic duty but am becoming resigned to the death of this union…

jdsbengaltiger on August 28, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Oh and I am really thinking about going to live in TX as I am in LA now so short move.

jdsbengaltiger on August 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Under the compromise, no. However, if the Rule 12 end-run remains, then the rule, or any rule for that matter, can be amended anytime in the next two years — under the radar.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

My understanding is that these rules are changed on a regular basis. A new set of rules could actually be put in place during the next convention in fact. And what exactly does that mean when you say it could be changed under the radar?..No one is saying that the winner of a primary will be stripped of his win because of a rule change..however,under the present rules there are delegates doing what they damn well please anyway..right now.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

So take the biggest perception, true or not, that the establishment Republicans think that conservatives i.e. Tea Partiers need to be pushed out, then suggest rule changes that seem to promote that view. Good job!

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Malkin and Limbaugh both have a following of people who tend to question move such as this no matter what the reasoning behind it. They smell a rat and then they go with that.

It happens. They tend to go off the deep end from time to time.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Set Limbaugh aside for a second, because I actually think he’s treated Ron Paul reasonably fairly this time around.

But Michelle Malkin? Goes off the deep end so far, as to start “marching behind” Ron Paul?

Have ya read what she has written about him?

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 4:55 PM

What concerns me is that this move suggests Romney already knows that some of his plans are going to go down badly with the conservative/Tea Party wing of the party. He is trying to make certain that they haven’t the means to challenge him in 2016, giving him a free hand to ignore them and go full RINO.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

If they really wanted to address the purported problems, they could have raised the issues with the states using caucus procedures and unbound delegates. They wouldn’t have waited until the last minute to spring these proposals on the delegates.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I agree that there could have been a better way to do this, but the states exercise a lot of control over these parties too..and I have seen some none too savory stuff take place in local politics. Just because it is local does not mean it is always honest. I hate to say that, but it is true.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

And to think I was actually getting excited… Stupid, stupid, stupid…

I am so disgusted with this CRAPPY old party. One betrayal of the base after another. I guess we can lump Romney/ Ryan in with Boehner and his ilk. Not one more cent from me.

I will vote as part of my civic duty but am becoming resigned to the death of this union…

jdsbengaltiger on August 28, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Pretty much how I feel and if Christie’s speech turns into Welcome To RINO Land, I’m done, and so is the country.

bgibbs1000 on August 28, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Can you explain to us why party insiders are party insiders except if they support Ron Paul? I mean, a party committeeman in some precinct, county or state party is an insider… unless he or she supports Ron Paul.

Can you clarify this stance of yours?

I mean, can a Huckabee supporter claim the same thing about Christian Right party insiders? And so on?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 4:46 PM

So, every precinct captain in America is now an insider?

Is Ron Paul an insider, because he served in Congress? I mean, a congressman has a lot more influence than a precinct captain.

I suppose Sarah Palin is an insider, since she served as a governor.

So, everyone who is active in the party is now an insider, I guess.

C Wright Mills weeps. And yes, I have no trouble believing you have no idea who C Wright Mills is…

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 5:04 PM

My understanding is that these rules are changed on a regular basis. A new set of rules could actually be put in place during the next convention in fact. And what exactly does that mean when you say it could be changed under the radar?..No one is saying that the winner of a primary will be stripped of his win because of a rule change..however,under the present rules there are delegates doing what they damn well please anyway..right now.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

The Rule 12 amendment will allow the national party apparatus, which generally gives the chairman what the chairman wants, to amend rules between conventions; something that is not now allowed. How much media attention do you thing a rules change would grab, say, nine months from now? I’ll tell you. None.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Just because it is local does not mean it is always honest. I hate to say that, but it is true.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I live in Lake County, Indiana. I need no schooling on political corruption at the local level.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM

What concerns me is that this move suggests Romney already knows that some of his plans are going to go down badly with the conservative/Tea Party wing of the party. He is trying to make certain that they haven’t the means to challenge him in 2016, giving him a free hand to ignore them and go full RINO.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Oh come on. If Romney wants to run again, he will have to have the support of the rank and file or he will be challenged by some other Republican. There is nothing in these changes that would stop someone from challenging Romney. There is nothing in these changes that could not be changed in the next convention. There is nothing in these changes that says that delegates will not reflect the will of the people who voted for them.

In fact,right now delegates in many states chose to support someone other than the winner of their caucus or primary. So much for the grass roots. That is not right either.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Just because it is local does not mean it is always honest. I hate to say that, but it is true.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I live in Lake County, Indiana. I need no schooling on political corruption at the local level.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Another hoosier! I live in little bitty Greene County..little by population any way.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:07 PM

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I don’t think “Shut up!” is going to work anymore.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 5:07 PM

The Rule 12 amendment will allow the national party apparatus, which generally gives the chairman what the chairman wants, to amend rules between conventions; something that is not now allowed. How much media attention do you thing a rules change would grab, say, nine months from now? I’ll tell you. None.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Well, considering the amount of trouble just considering this change has made…I doubt very much if they could actually do something without all sorts of people knowing about it and demanding it be done in the wide open.

I do hope they find a compromise that people can live with. This is not something we need to be worrying about right now. Really.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I warned you guys on this issue. Team Romney’s greed must be stopped.

They haven’t yet started with 2012 General Election and yet… THEY’RE ALREADY PLANNING FOR 2016.

It’s the responsibility of the Team Romney. They should know that staging such a stealthy act of changing the rules to their “next bet’s” favor will cause disruption.

I guess no Convention bounce for RnR, huh?

LOL! Sarah Palin is correct. Given the greediness of the current “potential” nominee, people like her should focus on state and local elections instead.

TheAlamos on August 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I’m a lot more nervous about his presidency now than I was a couple of days ago. Someone on this thread was mocking me because I told them that Rule #12 was all about 2016. Worrisome, especially if some third party types decide to go vindictive and split the vote in 2016.

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:06 PM

So, giving the current captains of the party the power to reject delegates chosen by the states parties has no effect on the incumbent’s power to stifle dissent at the convention? Giving them the power to amend the rules to their advantage that they don’t have now doesn’t give them additional means to stifle dissent?

Don’t be silly.

Come on, yourself.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM

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

Awesome argument. You want to be like the Democrats. I’m convinced. Not.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I do hope they find a compromise that people can live with. This is not something we need to be worrying about right now. Really.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Then Romney should just drop it.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:12 PM

LOL! Sarah Palin is correct. Given the greediness of the current “potential” nominee, people like her should focus on state and local elections instead.

TheAlamos on August 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Just a little paranoid aren’t you?

Tell me do you think it is okay for a delegate to change his support after the vote without giving a passing thought to the will of the voters themselves? Because we saw that happen this primary season.

If Sarah Palin really felt that way, then she should have gotten off her butt and run for office. If Romney is really some kind of bad guy who is out to wreck the party then I would have thought it would have been the duty of someone like Sarah Palin to get out there and run against him…but she did not..and neither did a lot of other high profile conservatives.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Then Romney should just drop it.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I think a compromise would be better,because there really were some problems with that primary mostly from the Paulbots and their tricks at the caucuses.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Another hoosier! I live in little bitty Greene County..little by population any way.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I lived in Bloomington for about ten years.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Regardless of the interpretation of the rule changes trying to
be forced down everyone’s throat, it is just plain wrong.

The timing for cripes sake!

This is like waking up to the runway closing of Meigs Field in
Chicago by its mayor, Richard Daley.

Amjean on August 28, 2012 at 5:16 PM

I think a compromise would be better,because there really were some problems with that primary mostly from the Paulbots and their tricks at the caucuses.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Well, that means that you think that it is worth the fight. I don’t see how it is worth it to Romney.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:19 PM

So, giving the current captains of the party the power to reject delegates chosen by the states parties has no effect on the incumbent’s power to stifle dissent at the convention? Giving them the power to amend the rules to their advantage that they don’t have now doesn’t give them additional means to stifle dissent?

Don’t be silly.

Come on, yourself.

novaculus on August 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Actually, I think that they just wanted a smooth convention. I am not even saying this is the best way to do it.

I am just saying that these rules are never written in stone. They are subject to change and people are acting as if this some draconian power grab when in fact it was precipitated not by a desire to keep down the Tea Party,but by the Paulbots taking over caucuses and then changing their support once they had control. They are not stupid, they learned out to work the system.

The caucuses should be replaced by primaries. That would be a better way to deal with a lot of these problems. I am not saying that people should go along with anything they do not support…but I just do not see it as being part of some evil plot.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:22 PM

The RNC establishment is just shooting themselves in the foot. This power grab just ensures a third party run in 2016. They just couldn’t stand a little dissent in 2012 so they decided to basically break up the GOP. GREAT JOB!

ModerateMan on August 28, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Again. If people have a problem with this system, they should fix it at their state level. Why do we need to “fix” this at the national level. Supposedly, the GOP is a party that supports federalism, but can’t even do it with their internal policies. How are we supposed to expect them to govern with a federalist mindset? Like the Democrats, the GOP sees top-down, statist, centralized, diktat as the “solution” to any problem, real or imagined.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I think a compromise would be better,because there really were some problems with that primary mostly from the Paulbots and their tricks at the caucuses.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:14 PM

The compromise that was reached seems reasonable to me. The problem is with the ability of the apparatchiks to amend the rules unilaterally, after the convention and the election is long forgotten.

Sure, we political junkies who read the political blogs might here about a rule change mid-stream, but would anyone else? I seriously doubt it.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:26 PM

here s/b hear.

Oops.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Romney Inc. just did what Obama couldn’t, alienate the grassroots from the GOP.

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Actually, I think that they just wanted a smooth convention. I am not even saying this is the best way to do it.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:22 PM

This “solution” is causing worse problems than the problems that they were hoping to avoid.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Again. If people have a problem with this system, they should fix it at their state level. Why do we need to “fix” this at the national level. Supposedly, the GOP is a party that supports federalism, but can’t even do it with their internal policies. How are we supposed to expect them to govern with a federalist mindset? Like the Democrats, the GOP sees top-down, statist, centralized, diktat as the “solution” to any problem, real or imagined.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:25 PM

That is my thinking on the matter as well.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM

If Sarah Palin really felt that way, then she should have gotten off her butt and run for office. If Romney is really some kind of bad guy who is out to wreck the party then I would have thought it would have been the duty of someone like Sarah Palin to get out there and run against him…but she did not..and neither did a lot of other high profile conservatives.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Romney has jumped the shark. Sarah Palin doesn’t give up her right to her opinion because she chose not to run. She’s done more for the Conservative movement and the Tea Party than anyone else.

Romney has shown his true colors with this Rule Change. He is part of the problem in the Republican Party, along with the rest of the RINOS. The Conservatives & Tea Party movement threaten them, that’s why the Rules were changed.

You’ve tried to defend Romney since the get go, but no one has any reason now to defend him. We know what he has done and no way to defend it.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM

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

Awesome argument. You want to be like the Democrats. I’m convinced. Not.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Like I said many months ago, Romney is the Obamification of the Republican party. Every tactic the left uses against conservatives, so too has ObamaRomney (damn so much like Obama I actually think he is.). Once instituted into the Republican party, these Obamification changes, like in the schools, media and other institutions of this great nation, will become impossible to get rid of due to their politically correctness nature and hatred of any debate on any matter large or small. The progressives will wall off sections of the party apparatus and begin to wedge their way across the entire spectrum. It is how they operate.

But do not worry, Romney will totally save this nation. LOL.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM

PALIN: RULES CHANGE ‘ATTACK ON GRASSROOTS’

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined a chorus of grassroots conservatives in calling for two proposed rule changes, backed by the top brass of Mitt Romney’s campaign, to be rejected on the floor of the Republican National Convention. Palin said the two proposed rule changes that would impact delegates and would allow the RNC to change the party rules in between conventions in the future were “very disappointing” and “must be rejected.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/08/28/Palin-Conservatives-Urge-RNC-Delegates-To-Reject-Rule-Changes-Establishment-Power-Grab

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Actually, I think that they just wanted a smooth convention. I am not even saying this is the best way to do it.

I am just saying that these rules are never written in stone. They are subject to change and people are acting as if this some draconian power grab when in fact it was precipitated not by a desire to keep down the Tea Party,but by the Paulbots taking over caucuses and then changing their support once they had control. They are not stupid, they learned out to work the system.
Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 5:22 PM

A smooth Convention? So they want to take the rights away from the Elected Delegates from the States? Really? Rules are set until they are changed Terrye. Romney replaced 3 of the Rules Committee Members today right before the 2PM vote so the changes would pass.
As long as the deck is stacked, along with the Rule#12, how are the Rules going to be changed now? A problem? Just remove more Rules Committee Members until you get the ones that will vote how you want. See? Simple isn’t it?

And yes, they don’t want the Tea Party or Conservatives. You really need to get out more and stop teaming up with joana. You’re getting to sound as confused as she is and on both sides of the fence. Gets tiring.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

So, every precinct captain in America is now an insider?

Is Ron Paul an insider, because he served in Congress? I mean, a congressman has a lot more influence than a precinct captain.

I suppose Sarah Palin is an insider, since she served as a governor.

So, everyone who is active in the party is now an insider, I guess.

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 5:04 PM

So, who is an insider?

A state party leader is an insider? A state party leader who supports Romney is an insider? And a state party leader who supports Paul?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:26 PM

If you have a problem with apparatchiks, why are you opposed to a rules change that takes power away from them to empower the primary voters?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Romney Inc. just did what Obama couldn’t, alienate the grassroots from the GOP.

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I’m afraid so. Those Texans looked Longhorn angry after the vote.

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Romney Inc. just did what Obama couldn’t, alienate the grassroots from the GOP.

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Sure did. Are they a Team now? What a betrayal.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

So, who is an insider?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Willard Romney

The Bushes

Karl Rove

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Again. If people have a problem with this system, they should fix it at their state level. Why do we need to “fix” this at the national level. Supposedly, the GOP is a party that supports federalism, but can’t even do it with their internal policies. How are we supposed to expect them to govern with a federalist mindset? Like the Democrats, the GOP sees top-down, statist, centralized, diktat as the “solution” to any problem, real or imagined.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Yes, because the corrupt establishment hacks that dominate the state party apparatuses are really going to give up power willingly and cede it to the masses. /sarc

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

They are willing to give up freedom for the cold comfort of protectionism. They want uniform rules that supposedly empower the people, but the uniform rules will be made by a few select elites in power positions and voted on by people hand picked by those in those power positions. Ahmadinjad is beaming with joy! He would run it no differently!

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Yes, because the corrupt establishment hacks that dominate the state party apparatuses are really going to give up power willingly and cede it to the masses. /sarc

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

So your solution is to take it further away from the people and give it to national corrupt establishment hacks who are even less accountable to the masses? Spoken like a true big government, centralized, top-down statist Democrat.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Yes, because the corrupt establishment hacks that dominate the state party apparatuses are really going to give up power willingly and cede it to the masses. /sarc

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Yes, because the fewer and further removed from accountability national corrupt establishment hacks that dominate the national party apparatuses are really going to be more in tune with we the little people who are far removed from handing them any consequences for their actions…

Big government much? Oh yeah, your hero god Romney has progressive views, so of course his sycophants would too!

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 5:42 PM

If you have a problem with apparatchiks, why are you opposed to a rules change that takes power away from them to empower the primary voters?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Your straw-men are becoming quite tiresome. Here is what I said:

The compromise that was reached seems reasonable to me. The problem is with the ability of the apparatchiks to amend the rules unilaterally, after the convention and the election is long forgotten.

Sure, we political junkies who read the political blogs might here about a rule change mid-stream, but would anyone else? I seriously doubt it.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:26 PM

You can’t stay away from that dead horse, can you?

Now go flog your nonsense to someone else. I’ve wasted enough of my day, and I’ve got more signs to put up. What are you doing for the nominee besides carrying water here?

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Now go flog your nonsense to someone else. I’ve wasted enough of my day, and I’ve got more signs to put up. What are you doing for the nominee besides carrying water here?

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Pissing me off and making me more amenable to casting an actual protest vote instead of just thinking I might. Romney was a disastrous nominee many many months ago, and in that time he has not moved one bit in any single tiny action towards improving, and has taken many steps in large fashion to show me how much worse a nominee he truly is.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 5:46 PM

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Why? Because you don’t like them?

So, once those people are out of the party, there are no insiders any more?

Or are you an Obama style class warrior?

I don’t agree with those people from an ideological perspective, especially Bush 43, the Socialist Evangelical and precursor of the “TruCons” but one needs to be a fierce opponent of logic and reasoning to equate insiders with ideology.

ps – Am I the only amused by the idiots who hate Rove because “omg establishment” or something yet seem oblivious to the fact that Rove was the biggest spender most of the “Tea Party conservative” campaigns, including Rubio, Angle, Paul, Toomey, Haley, Martinez, Kasich, etc?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:48 PM

I can’t believe Romney is disappointing me before he even enters the White House. I was expecting him to show his big government RINO tendencies a couple of months after being elected… not during his own damn convention.

ModerateMan on August 28, 2012 at 5:50 PM

So your solution is to take it further away from the people and give it to national corrupt establishment hacks who are even less accountable to the masses? Spoken like a true big government, centralized, top-down statist Democrat.

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2012 at 5:42 PM

What?

Can you even read? Who says that’s my solution?

The solution is to put the power in the hands of the primary voters and caucus goers. Which is exactly what this rule does.

Of course, you didn’t even know that.

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:50 PM

What?

Can you even read? Who says that’s my solution?

The solution is to put the power in the hands of the primary voters and caucus goers. Which is exactly what this rule does.

Of course, you didn’t even know that.

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:50 PM

What are you reading? See spot run?

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Now making the state party hacks to respect the will of the Republican base in their states is “big government RINOism”.

The crazy: they can always outdo themselves.

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I can’t believe Romney is disappointing me before he even enters the White House. I was expecting him to show his big government RINO tendencies a couple of months after being elected… not during his own damn convention.

ModerateMan on August 28, 2012 at 5:50 PM

It’s totally unbelievable. Whatever enthusiasm I had was instantly extinguished this afternoon.

Punchenko on August 28, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Let me see if i understanding this fight correctly: The so-called grass root and the Tea Party are fighting for the right of throw out the will of the voter?…..How is that fair?

Falz on August 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Now making the state party hacks to respect the will of the Republican base in their states is “big government RINOism”.

The crazy: they can always outdo themselves.

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Again, what rule are you reading? It sure the hell is not the power grab we are talking about.

Then again, I think I figured it out. Like so many liberal progressives, you do not want to debate, and when forced to debate you debate unfairly. You want to talk about one rule while everyone else is talking about the other one, the one that empowers a tiny group far removed from the will of the people. You want to ignore that rule change, because you cannot defend it. Instead, you cling to an argument that is moot and pointless due to the nature of the other rule.

What a progressive liberal goo guzzling Romneybot you are. The OBAMAIFICATION of the the republican party is strong in this one!

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 6:00 PM

It takes time to take over a political party, and they are not going to go quietly. We all know that Romney is obligated to the Establishment, and he will do whatever they tell him to do. If Romney wins (and we have to make sure he does), they know that the next election could be very different, as there would not be an anti-Obama vote — maybe even a third party. I’m not sure the Democrats are going to put up another hard core socialist/communist for a candidate in 2016. Romney could easily be a one-term President, and then conservatives could concentrate on cleaning up the Senate and the House and not put as much emphasis on President. We’ve got four years to figure it out.

lea on August 28, 2012 at 6:01 PM

So, who is an insider?

A state party leader is an insider? A state party leader who supports Romney is an insider? And a state party leader who supports Paul?

joana on August 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Who is an insider is often a tricky question, to be fair. Just because someone sits in an office doesn’t necessarily mean they are an insider.

Had a colleague who worked in the Florida House described it well. He said, you’d look at a vote. And when the vote was called for, some people would stand up, and a moment later, a bunch of other people would stand up. Those people who stood up first… they were the insiders.

In no way shape or form are the Ron Paul people in charge of the NVGOP “insiders”. Nor are any of the AK people, or the ME people. A couple of his IA people are actually kind of “insider”. But they didn’t suddenly join the power elite by seizing control of that party apparatus.

But it certainly is a step in the right direction.

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2012 at 6:01 PM

The whole point of caucuses is to give a voice to grassroots conservatives… not just the candidate with the most money. It’s kind of a part of our democracy. Kind of like the Constitution giving 2 Senate votes to each state regardless of population. I wouldn’t expect big federal government RINO’s to understand.

ModerateMan on August 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Well, screw it. I donated to Romney but am now asking his campaign if I can request a refund and removal from their mailing etc lists. I’m just going to stick to donating to independent conservative groups. The GOP can stuff it.

batter on August 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Let me see if i understanding this fight correctly: The so-called grass root and the Tea Party are fighting for the right of throw out the will of the voter?…..How is that fair?

Falz on August 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I will assume you are asking an honest question. They are not. What is happening is that the national level party wants to have total control of the state level party. One ring to rule them all sort of thing. Instead of allowing 50 states who are closer to their voters chose how to nominate the candidate and uphold their will, they want to do so from Washington DC. They do this under the ruse, like so many liberal progressives, like OBAMA, of helping the little guy, but they are doing it in a way that really empowers a select few at the very top. These select few are then given the power to make rules changes on the fly as they see fit, with no public viewing like happens at the national convention.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Let me see if i understanding this fight correctly: The so-called grass root and the Tea Party are fighting for the right of throw out the will of the voter?…..How is that fair?

Falz on August 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

They are mainly fighting against Rule#12 which gives the RNC chair, a 75% majority of the Rules committee, and presidential nominee total authority to change the delegate certification rules(plus any others they desire) during the period of time between conventions. In essence it means the rulebook can be rewritten by the top GOP brass to fit their agenda for tht particular time period without input from anyone else.

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Look at it this way, most of the people Gov. Romney needs to vote for him will never know anything about this.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 6:18 PM

People vote for the nominee, they do not vote for delegates..this does not take votes away from citizens,or change their votes. All it does is give the nominee more control over the convention and these rules can be changed if people actually feel that they are being disenfranchised in some way. The rule change does not effect any one currently.

In truth, I think Ed is right..it is probably time to think about getting rid of the nominating conventions.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

They are willing to give up freedom for the cold comfort of protectionism. They want uniform rules that supposedly empower the people, but the uniform rules will be made by a few select elites in power positions and voted on by people hand picked by those in those power positions. Ahmadinjad is beaming with joy! He would run it no differently!

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I agree. The old boys club. What I am seeing now, I think Sarah Palin has seen all along. Perhaps she couldn’t express it as clearly as we see it, but I believe that. She wasn’t going to run and join them, she is trying to bring change from the outside.

There was no reason for Romney to do this. Using Ron Paul as an excuse, but he was not the reason. A power grab is all it was. Well, we’ll see how this benefits him.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

One ring to rule them all sort of thing. Instead of allowing 50 states who are closer to their voters chose how to nominate the candidate and uphold their will, they want to do so from Washington DC. They do this under the ruse, like so many liberal progressives, like OBAMA, of helping the little guy, but they are doing it in a way that really empowers a select few at the very top. These select few are then given the power to make rules changes on the fly as they see fit, with no public viewing like happens at the national convention.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 6:05 PM

I understand what you are saying, but most people have no idea who these delegates are and they have no say in picking them. The average voter has no control over this process right now. In fact, I think they should consider getting rid of the delegates and the conventions. It is all just spectacle now anyway…and we saw instances in this last primary season of delegates changing their support and not voting for the nominee most of the voters in their state preferred.

Maybe the whole system has become anachronistic.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

This is from James Joyner:

Since this is a future rules change—i.e., one that won’t impact the existing delegates or anyone else who knows how their own interests will be impacted—this strikes me as more than reasonable. Granted, I think political conventions themselves are a relic of a bygone era and would be happy to see the delegates go away and just have the cable networks just give over the time for the big speeches and dispense with all the rest of it, including the writing of party platforms. Absent that, however, it makes perfect sense for the party’s presidential nominee to have more control over the convention than now exists.

Currently, we have the absurd spectacle of a bunch of local party activists getting “elected” in a series of primary elections where 99 percent of those voting think they’re simply voting for the party’s presidential nominee when, in fact, they’re voting for a slate of delegates for said nominee that they almost surely don’t know. Then, said delegates go off to a convention city and hammer out a party “platform” that the assembled delegates vote on and then the mass media treat as a meaningful document that the nominee has to spend valuable time talking about.

So, for example, we spend an inordinate amount of time every four years talking about the Republican Party’s absurd abortion plank, which calls for a Constitutional amendment to ban abortions, sometimes with and sometimes without an exception for rape and incest. No Republican President—and we’ve had a passel of ‘em—has ever actually proposed this amendment to Congress and there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that such an amendment would get a supermajority vote in both Houses of Congress and approval by 37 states. Yet, every four years, we pretend that this platform plank is a real thing.

Beyond that, we have the nonsensical process whereby a candidate can “win” a caucus and then, months later, the state’s party delegates get awarded to a different candidate entirely because of arcane rules that have nothing to do with the voters of the state. There was real concern that Ron Paul, who continues to be a novelty candidate with little real support, would wind up manipulating these rules to gain substantial leverage at the convention this year because his handful of supporters happen to be zealots with a lot of time on their hands. Thankfully for Romney, the effort ultimately fizzled out. But it was nonetheless worth amending the rules to ensure that a future (presumptive) nominee could avoid that sort of hijinx from overshadowing his coming out party to the American people.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 6:32 PM

What are you reading? See spot run?

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

That’s her m.o., twisting what you said and asking a question you didn’t even hint at. It’s the same old same old with her, just different topics.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM

There was no reason for Romney to do this. Using Ron Paul as an excuse, but he was not the reason. A power grab is all it was. Well, we’ll see how this benefits him.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I really think that a lot of people are over stating this. I realize that Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin make their living by talking about the establishment vs grassroots wars and battles, but I honestly think this is just over the top.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM

ModerateMan on August 28, 2012 at 5:50 PM

It’s totally unbelievable. Whatever enthusiasm I had was instantly extinguished this afternoon.

Punchenko on August 28, 2012 at 5:55 PM

You’re not alone, believe me. Feel the same way.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 6:37 PM

It’s just not right.

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

What a progressive liberal goo guzzling Romneybot you are. The OBAMAIFICATION of the the republican party is strong in this one!

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 6:00 PM

You are spot on with your entire comments!

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 6:40 PM

All it does is give the nominee more control over the convention and these rules can be changed if people actually feel that they are being disenfranchised in some way. The rule change does not effect any one currently.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

How will that be accomplished with Rule #12 now part of the system? You were aware Romney purged 3 members of the Rules committee today and replaced them with his own picks in order to get this passed, weren’t you?

a capella on August 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM

You keep blaming the media, aren’t these people at the convention a bit to busy to be tuning into those mentioned? Also, it’s a touch insulting to suggest that these folks, totally immersed in the political process, are too stupid to have reservations based on their own perceptions and observations. I know that’s not how you meant it but it makes them seem stupid.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 6:48 PM

I understand what you are saying, but most people have no idea who these delegates are and they have no say in picking them. The average voter has no control over this process right now. In fact, I think they should consider getting rid of the delegates and the conventions. It is all just spectacle now anyway…and we saw instances in this last primary season of delegates changing their support and not voting for the nominee most of the voters in their state preferred.

Maybe the whole system has become anachronistic.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Great. So what is the solution? Mob (democratic) rule pure and unabridged by the constraints of republicanism and federalism?

A top down national party controls everything, similar to Venezuela and Iran?

Sorry, but I kind of like the checks and balances approach. If the “we the people” are ignored by our STATE or LOCAL party people, we will right fast get acquainted with them and set things right. Who do they go to when emperor Romney makes an edict from on high beyond their reach?

Our nation has had ignorant loser moron voters as long as it has existed. It made it over 200 years!

As the Senate proves, taking power away from the states and handing it directly to the people does not increase the liberty of the voters. It has in fact taken away much of the liberty of the voters, through Senators now voting against their own state’s best interest on many instances where the vote would buy votes from the people.

It is harder and harder to find a place where you can live without the people from another state having iron clad rights to tell you how to live your life these days. A direct result of the popular vote for Senators. The country was better off letting the state pick the Senators, so that the states best interest would weigh upon any vote in the Senate.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

This entry was before the GOPE refused to acknowledge the minority report, but Hillyer lists some consequences:

On Morton Blackwell’s Fight Against Insiders’ Power Grab

This power grab by the Ben Ginsburgs of the world (read: low-life profiteering petty tyrants) is totally unnecessary. Indeed, it is worse than that; it is counter-productive. Just when the right needs unity, these %&%&&%*)&# jacksnappers inject discord and divisiveness into the proceedings.

Not only that, but the new rules they want to inflict on us are idiotic. By front-loading the primaries again, they harm the competition that makes us strong and gives us the chance to identify candidate strengths and weaknesses. By grabbing power for the presidential campaigns at the expense of state parties and individual activists, they trample the grass roots, dispiriting our hardest workers and denying new talent a chance to emerge.

If I saw Ginsburg (the longtime, over-respected lawyer who specializes in screwing up election-law battles) right now, it would be all I could do to keep from grabbing him by the lapels and shaking him within an inch of his life. (To be clear: I would not do this; this is no threat; it’s just a near-justifiable urge, borne of the need to throttle a %*#^%*&#%& little %^#%*#)&%()#&.edy so and so.)

I think Ginsburg may have messed up some Bush v. Gore stuff, but I’ll have to double check. That’s his reference to election-law battles.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Look at it this way, most of the people Gov. Romney needs to vote for him will never know anything about this.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 6:18 PM

That could be, but we know one thing. There were many State Delegates there and word of mouth is better than any ad. I have no idea what the fall out will be on this. Too soon to tell.

I saw Fox had Jeb Bush, the 2016 Candidate on. I know, my opinion:-)

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

The country was better off letting the state pick the Senators, so that the states best interest would weigh upon any vote in the Senate.

astonerii on August 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Agree 100%.

Those who don’t support your statement need only think then why don’t we go to a popular vote for President? I mean who would oppose campaigns that would need only venture into the 100 most populated cities making promises to urban residents and forget about rural voters in flyover country.

weaselyone on August 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

This reminded me of New England town meetings.

Drew McKissick e-mailed the minority report to the RNC at 3:44, ahead of deadline.

Boehner is suddenly deaf when presiding…

INC on August 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I wish all the states would go the primaries. CLOSED PRIMARIES!

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 4:10 PM

.
Yes ma’am. An open primary is as bad or worse than a caucus.

Eren on August 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

.
Motion is made and seconded. Now goes to the floor; all those in favor of abolishing open-primaries say “aye’.
.
AYE ! ! ! ! ! ! !

listens2glenn on August 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I really think that a lot of people are over stating this. I realize that Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin make their living by talking about the establishment vs grassroots wars and battles, but I honestly think this is just over the top.

Terrye on August 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Terrye, please try to understand the issue and address that. Malkin, Levin and Rush and many others are not giving their opinions. They are posting and addressing the facts. It makes no sense to attribute their comments as “talking points or opinions”

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Wow. And a number of people insist that we all still need to get behind Romney.

I hope you guys like your crap sandwiches nice, smelly, and foul, because that’s what the establishment Republicans seem to have waiting for you.

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 7:17 PM

It’s just not right.

kingsjester on August 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Disappointing & Depressing. As I commented to Cindy, we don’t know what the fall out will be yet.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Wow. And a number of people insist that we all still need to get behind Romney.

I hope you guys like your crap sandwiches nice, smelly, and foul, because that’s what the establishment Republicans seem to have waiting for you.

idesign on August 28, 2012 at 7:17 PM

The only fix is to get yourself involved with the Party’s business at the local level. Then it’s still going to take time and hard work.

However much you distrust the party machinery, a Republican Senate and President are far, far more desirable than the status quo.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I think Ginsburg may have messed up some Bush v. Gore stuff, but I’ll have to double check. That’s his reference to election-law battles.

INC on August 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I think we all feel like he does. Good article at A.S.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 7:28 PM

This reminded me of New England town meetings.

Drew McKissick e-mailed the minority report to the RNC at 3:44, ahead of deadline.

Boehner is suddenly deaf when presiding…

INC on August 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Oh yeah. Boehner, following orders as usual. There was no mention of a Minority Report at all. The whole thing was a “I won” repeat.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2012 at 7:22 PM

We’ve just been betrayed, insulted and stolen from. Have to recoup.

bluefox on August 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM

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