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Establishment GOP mimics progressives in power grab

By Frank Salvato
web posted September 3, 2012

Just when we thought we could be proud of the Republican establishment, what with the inclusion of TEA Party favorite US Rep. Paul Ryan to the GOP ticket, reality rears its ugly head and mocks the hard work of the grassroots. In a stunning move that conjures images of Mayor Richard J. Daley and the gerrymandering of votes during the 1960 General Election, which delivered a questionable victory in Illinois to John F. Kennedy, the establishment Republicans, led by many senior Romney team advisors, have proved to be more about gathering power for themselves than righting a political party that has become the mirror image of the Progressive-led Democrat Party.

National political conventions are about much more than simply nominating a candidate for the General Election. Included in these conventions are sessions that define the party's platform and re-examine and augment the rules of procedure for the daily workings of the organization until the next convention, or the next quorum-satisfying special session. These sessions of detail seldom, if ever, get covered by the mainstream media, let alone by the local, trade and new media organizations that routinely cover party politics. Many, even the delegates to said conventions, perceive these minutiae to be boring and tedious. The problem with this shallow thinking it this: should the power hungry and the politically opportune collude to execute a power grab, via the manipulation of the rules and procedures, the rank and file can very well see their voices silenced; their participation sequestered; their influence neutered, regardless of whether their efforts facilitate victory.

As the rank and file Republicans, along with the rest of the American people who give a damn about who is running for the highest offices in the land, listened to a series of dynamic speeches from a plethora of rising stars in the Republican Party and Conservative Movement – speakers like Mia Love, Susana Martinez and, the hope for the future of the Republican Party, Paul Ryan, old-guard establishment Republicans quietly worked behind the scenes to engineer the GOP's rules of procedure where the approval and apportionment of convention delegates were concerned, doing so to benefit – exclusively – the party elite.

Because of the excellent efforts of people like Michelle Malkin and Mark Levin, among several others, what can legitimately be labeled the sleaziest political maneuvering in Republican Party history did not pass quietly into the night. Ms. Malkin (a true patriot, I might add) affords this account by Drew McKissick at her publication:

"This past Friday, the RNC's Convention Rules Committee voted – after several contentious votes – to change the party's rules to allow future presidential candidates to have veto power over who can be delegates from any state – in other words, take power away from the grassroots and their ability to elect fellow conservatives as delegates.

"This represents a brazen move by several Washington Beltway consultants and party insiders to diminish the power and influence of conservatives over the party."

BigGovernment.com examined the significance of this move and provided even more disturbing news of additional actions:

"On Friday, Republican officials associated with the Romney campaign strong-armed two rule changes into the draft platform. The first rule would have effectively allowed future presidential candidates -- and not states -- to choose the delegates that represent them. In what appears to be a compromise, the text of the rule has been changed to allow states to still select delegates.

"Of more concern, though, is Rule 12, and the compromise on selecting delegates will be moot if Rule 12 remains in place.

"Rule 12 would allow the RNC to change the rules between conventions if 75% of committee members agree to do so. Since committee members usually agree to what the RNC chair wants, this effectively is a rubber stamp that allows the RNC to amend the rules whenever it wants."

The account continued:

"Conservative talk radio host and author Mark Levin said the power grab was akin to something President Barack Obama would do.

"‘Conservatives of all stripes, especially Tea Party activists, this is an attempt to destroy your ability to influence the presidential and vice presidential nomination process in the Republican Party,' Levin wrote. ‘It is an attempt to eviscerate the input of state parties. It is a brazen assault on the grassroots. And it is sleazy to the core.'"

After a heaping helping of political skullduggery, strong-arm manipulation and Chicago-style political disingenuousness, a so-called "compromise" was reached, which saw Romney supporters and the GOP elite back down from the total of their hijack attempt. Under the deal, delegates bound to an active presidential candidate or to a resigned candidate who has not released them, are barred from voting for anyone but their designated candidate. Any rogue vote would be disallowed and the delegate would lose his or her position.

But just as Progressives and Chicago politicians use the "bright shiny thing" to distract voters and the general public from what they are really doing (think about how a slight of hand artist deflects attention from what he or she is really doing during a trick), the establishment Republicans and the party elite used the compromise to push through something that literally makes the compromise impotent from the get-go.

An after-action report by Mr. McKissick, again, published by Ms. Malkin, sums up the dastardly success of the establishment Republican machine:

"The upside is that as a result of shining a light on what was going on and alerting everyone to it, we were able to force a compromise to get the worst part of the proposed changes removed (the change that would let campaigns have veto power over delegates).

"The downside is that all of the rest of the garbage went through, (i.e. letting the RNC change the rules between conventions, removing a March proportionality rule that will result in a massive front-loaded national primary in 4 or 8 years, forcing some caucus/convention states to bind delegates against their own rules and state law, etc..).

"Worst yet, due to the RNC's new power to change the rules, the [genie] is out of the bottle and, who knows, a proposal for candidates to have delegate veto power may yet be in our future."

The bottom line is this. The establishment Republican Party elite have rewarded the hard work and dedication of grassroots and TEA Party activists – the foot soldiers of the Republican Party; hard work and dedication that literally created the lopsided 2010 congressional victories (yes, they did build that), by lighting victory cigars with matches stuck on the backs of the grassroots; "Sit down and shut up," their words of praise. It is disgusting. It is sleazy. It is everything that true Republicans and Conservatives despise about the Progressives and Democrats. And it is wrong.

According to a PBS American Experience documentary by Barak Goodman and Geoffrey C. Ward, titled "Daley: The Last Boss":

"Known for shrewd party politics, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley was a stereotypical machine politician, and his Chicago Democrat Machine, based on control of thousands of patronage positions, was instrumental in bringing a narrow 8,000 vote victory in Illinois for John F. Kennedy in 1960...Mayor Daley and Kennedy [it is commonly understood] stole the 1960 election by stuffing ballot boxes and rigging the vote in Chicago. In addition, Daley withheld many votes from certain wards when the race seemed close."

Is this the kind of leadership we want in the Republican Party? Are we really going to stand by and watch the hard work of grassroots and TEA Party activists fall to the wayside at the hand of power-hungry and elitist professional politicians? Are rank-and-file, honest, hard-working Republicans going to allow their leadership to stab them in the back like this?

I am not now – nor will I ever – advocate an exodus from the Republican Party for the express action of launching a third party. The political math of the matter bears out that to splinter a party that currently captures fifty percent or less of the voting populace is to purposefully doom both the new and the old factions to defeat for several elections cycles. Given the damage that Barack Obama has done to the country in just three and one-half years, a splintering of the GOP would lead to the end of our Constitutional Republic as we know it.

What I am advocating is for grassroots and TEA Party activists to engage in the party process, not only nationally but locally and on the county, township and state levels as well. Run for party positions. Acquire the authority to vote for the hierarchy and take the Republican Party back from the elitist, power-hungry status quo professional politicians that lurk in the halls of the Republican National Committee. Take our party back from the inside. Only then can we secure the nation now against the scourge of the Progressive Left while returning the Republican Party to the bottom-up political structure created by its charter and mission statement.

Make no mistake, I, personally (and I say this to distance myself from our organization, which is a 501c3 and forbidden from endorsing or advocating against specific candidates) will work tirelessly to achieve victory for the Romney-Ryan ticket, for the good of the country and, as a by-product, for the good of the party. But I will also work tirelessly to confront and destroy or remove any and all of the elitist reprobates who executed this power grab; those who would silence the foot soldier to amass personal power.

Finally, to those who executed this hijacking of the voices of your brethren Republicans and Conservatives, I have but one question: When did you sign on to the political morality of the Alinskyites? ESR

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamic jihadism and Progressive neo-Marxism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post, Radio Belgrade One and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, "Ezekiel and the MidEast ‘Piece' Process: Israel's Neighbor States." He is the author of the series Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam, an educational pamphlet series. Mr. Salvato is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting and ABC Starguide Satellite Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. He is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network. Mr. Salvato has been interviewed on Radio Belgrade One. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org, BigGovernment.comand Examiner.com and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at contact@newmediajournal.us.







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