Sunday, September 02, 2012

Pick your battles - is it worth it?

There's a lot of inside baseball dust ups and gamesmanship going on right now with RNC convention away from the speeches. There's plenty of blame that could be spread around, and a lot of it could be avoided with common sense.

I preface this by saying the following. I voted for Ron Paul in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012 during the primaries. I held my nose and voted for McCain in 08 and will be holding my nose and voting for Romney this year to get rid of Obama, Eric Holder, and the rest of his cabinet. I don't consider myself a "Paulite" and don't follow his supporters 100%  I don't consider myself one that always sides with - or against - "leadership." I call things as I see them. I don't like coronations on any side. Pushing a coronation on me is a good way to get my opposition. That was one of the reasons I did not support Romney - or Paul - in this year's primary. Coronation tactics and takeover tactics. Make your case and I'll make my own decision. That's why we have primaries.

Many conservatives, and almost all the Ron Paul supporters went apeshit at this vote at the RNC convention. Now I support the first part of the rule 16 (primary binding), but not the second part with disavowing if the candidate and state party does not support them. I would support the disavowing for the presidential vote at the convention, but not the other votes with the other committees.

I have three problems with the rule.

1. HOW it was enacted. That's shown at the video posted at Right Michigan Bus games, and an Obama style script from a teleprompter wasn't needed.

2. Would the disavowing delegate occur for the presidential vote only, or for the rules committees and other stuff as well?

3. It wasn't needed. Mitt already won and had the votes. This was probably about avoiding future floor fights from the camera. Now I don't like airing stuff in front of cameras or even in public meetings. If I have a problem with a leadership decision, I'll usually give my gripes in private behind the scenes. It's more effective that way. On the same note, in the era of youtube, that's impossible to do no matter what if something is taped.

But in reality, this doesn't do that much, except potentially protecting themselves from laziness. It wasn't needed and Mitt had the votes. This is a much different era of primaries in 2012 than it was in 1976 with the rise of the internet, cable news, talk radio, and everything else. People harken back to the brokered convention in 76. That was 36 years ago. I wasn't born yet. I've seen a lot of changes in primary elections just in the years I've followed politics.

If you want a "tea party" or "liberty candidate" as the video says - to win, you plan this long before the convention.

This wasn't nearly as bad as the extra delegate which cost Saul Anuzis his position as RNC committeeman. That wasn't needed either and in the end didn't make a difference, but could have potentially been a much bigger problem. I like Saul and he's a good guy who's done a lot for grassroots that is overlooked, but that was a bad decision. We all make them at some point.

What both of those things where -  was equivalent to Terrell Owens celebrating on the Dallas Star at Cowboy's stadium in an infamous football game. 

This was stupid. It wasn't needed. It didn't do much of anything except rub it in the faces of people the leadership do not like. It's bad tactics, just like hostile takeover attempts from the other side are also bad tactics. It's short term thinking that is a long run failure.

I'm repeating myself with this one phrase. "It wasn't needed." Certain people in leadership didn't need to pick the battle. No good was going to come from it. There's other battles that didn't need to be picked. That's not limited to one side either. Some of the Ron Paul folks wanted to try and get a floor fight to replace Romney as the nominee. They lost it after they lost the primaries with their candidate finishing way back in the pack. Shit happens. My candidate lost too. Take your lumps like we did. On to the general election and it's time to improve through downticket races and gaining support of voters so more parts of our platforms become enacted - long term.

Now some (not all) of the Paul supporters want Obama to win out of spite through 3rd party votes in the hopes that future candidates would beg them for support. That won't get support and will cost immensely. That would get the entire Paul movement smashed forever and destroyed by any means necessary - and most conservatives would join in the smashing because as much of a problem Romney is, Obama is that much worse. It won't be "We can control the election, you need us" like some of them want. It will be "F-you. Obama won or almost won. You helped him. Time for your movement to die." If you become viewed as poison, everything you touch - including your issues - also turns to poison because will be tied "with those people."

The most important thing in politics is relationships. While it is inevitable that bridges sometimes get burned, it's important to avoid it when it is avoidable. I've had good relationships with people in the party despite at times being in heated disagreements. We both understood the reasons for our actions, and while there was even some hard feelings at the time, it wasn't personal. They weren't my enemy, and at the end of the day they didn't help THE enemy. Helping the enemy however, is a whole other matter. That's as cardinal of a sin as backstabbing. I will never ever forget the bastards and pieces of trash who were "conservatives" or "republicans" for Obama in 08. They helped give us Obamacare, the stimulus, Eric Holder, bad SCOTUS picks, tax increases, record debt, record deficits, and a vastly increase government. The establishment can't smash those who support different primary candidates, especially those who are willing to work within the party. Those that lose - whether it be the "moderates" (by far the worst offenders), libertarians, Paul supporters, conservatives, or anyone else need to suck it up and not campaign and use threats to spite the winner.

The reality however is this. None of the gamesmanship was needed, nor effective in their goals. In reality, it didn't do much, if anything. It did not effect the outcome. If you want to elect a presidential candidate in the primary, convention is only one small portion of it. You have to win enough delegates in the primaries and caucuses in enough states. RNC rule changes only affect a small portion of this, usually with scheduling of primaries. Most of the power is done through the state level through state committee and also with the state legislature/governor.  Even a lot of the scheduling is done there. 

The way to stop the bad stuff is to make sure we have good committeemen and good state chair and state committee members, and make sure other states do the same thing. That's how bad rules get stopped.  It starts locally, but electing good precinct delegates, executive committee members, county officers, district committee and officers, and state committee members, along with RNC committee members is how it is done. It's long term, and takes a lot of organization, recruitment of good candidates for those positions, and reaching out to swing voters that make decisions. 

Also, there's statutory members automatically on those exec committees. They are your county elected officials (or nominees). Those are important people and will always some of the power regarding county officers. That county commissioner race is important. 

I've been at this 11 years. Some have been around longer. Many have not. Most don't know how to organize. Most who do know how to organize don't know how to convince the swing voters and alienate them (happens with all cliques) with takeover attempts and power grabs (or what seem like them), and airing stuff to the media that should be handled in house. There's battles to fight. There's battles not worth fighting. All or nothing is a failure. Picking the battles at the right time after paying one's dues with the party, is the correct way to handle things. 

In other words, all sides need to think long term, swallow their pride, don't celebrate like TO did, pick the right battles, and stay cool.

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