Monthly Archives: December 2012

A letter to the Colorado state Chair of the GOP

<<as sent earlier today>>

Hello, Ryan -

Thank you for your call today. It was good to get a chance to speak with you. I apologize for having to terminate our conversation – but unless Boulder County Republicans wants to up my salary by a considerable measure, I must continue to abide by the schedule foisted upon me by my day gig. :)

Near the end of our conversation, we were starting to explore ways to avoid having party activists — who may not hew strictly to the inner power structure’s priorities — abandoning the fold.

I have no easy answers on this. The one piece of low-hanging fruit I see here is to not make these dedicated people feel unwelcome. The GOP can talk all it wants about a ‘big tent’. However, just like the transparent fallacy of ‘being the party of smaller government’, this is a bald-faced lie. Perhaps many even believe this mantra. I would call those people delusional.

What end was served by passing a series of rule changes at the RNC, effectively dismissing (in the case of Maine and others, literally so) the opinions of a small but mighty contingent? Would it have affected the ultimate outcome of the nomination process? No.

Multiple events at the RNC served as nothing more than a slap in the face to many dedicated people. If not for these actions, a significant number would have held their noses, and kept working for our top of the ticket. Instead, I lost two DCs, at least a commensurate number of PCPs, and the dedicated effort of so many more other activists.

As just one incident: perhaps — as you say — there is a plausible story behind the teleprompter script at Boehner’s presiding over the rule change vote. Perhaps. But even if so, there were obviously ignored calls for division. Understanding that there may have been rules in effect that make calls for division out of order. But if so, that is a problem in and of itself. This needs to be changed. I understand the desire for the RNC to be a coronation spectacle, but  to prefer this over real deliberation at the party’s most meaningful meeting is a travesty unto itself. And no call for division would have been necessary, had Boehner not willfully ignored all the calls for reconsideration so clearly made during his perfunctory entertainment of just such an action. Further, even this call for reconsideration would not have been necessary, had Boehner not avoided the responsibility of presiding over a standing vote, after the voice vote tendered was obviously inconclusive. In other words, had he fairly adjudicated the solemn responsibility with which he had been vested.

I could go on about the means employed to stifle dissent on the content of the rule changes themselves — but this is about as far I can describe the situation to even an interested party before their eyes glaze over.

And this is just one slight amongst many.

I know more about these issues than your average Republican voter, as most can’t be bothered to scrutinize the actions of their leadership. Even yet, there are a growing number who recognize how vindictive and wrongheaded the actions taken at this cycle’s RNC were.

And as I said, there are a significant number — perhaps enough to have turned the tide of the election — that have checked out because of it.

The bottom line is that the central power structure of our party is trying to usurp control from the grassroots in a manner befitting historical despots. It is undeniable that the new rule changes diminish the influence of the grassroots, substituting instead the flawed reasoning of the central power structure.

Now the central power structure is engaging in public hand-wringning about the Latino vote, or the women’s vote, trying to ‘reach’ them. I’m not a campaign professional, but I don’t think you get these folks’ vote by pandering to them. I think you probably earn them by adhering to the ideals which you publicly espouse. If the party elite only wants these folks for their vote, only to subsequently mistreat them in the same manner as they’ve mistreated the liberty wing of the party, I think any such initiative will likely backfire in the same manner as this election cycle.

I guess I’ve all but impugned the character of the national party leaders. I don’t know them. Heck at this point, I can’t even name them. But I don’t trust them. By their deeds, so shall they be known.

So much for integrity, how about competency? Just a few words…

Right up through midday election day, every national GOP leader seemed to know Romney/Ryan had it in the bag.

Donkeys had polling, we had prognosticators
Donkeys had solid statistics, we had “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and I guarantee that…”
Donks had Big Data, we had incoherent, unconnected, informal record keeping
Donks had organized boots on the ground, we had happy social clubs
Donks had well-oiled GOTV, we had an Orca washed up on the beach

While our so-called ‘leaders’ were ‘just resting their eyes’, technology had moved on. Dems capitalized upon this. We were caught flatfooted. To mix metaphors, we brought a knife to a gunfight. And while you are closer to the discussion, out here in the hinterlands I see no evidence that the central cast have learned anything from it.

So after all that, here’s where I am at. The central leadership of the party must be changed. And not with others that believe the the power and decision making ability should be centralized, but with a new team who believes in the wisdom of the grassroots. Not only are the current ‘pretenders to the throne’ philosophically adherent to the fallacy of central planning, but the evidence I see suggests that they are morally bereft, and further that they are unable to adapt to the new campaign realities of the big data era.

Perhaps this letter is a tactical error on my part. After all, county elections precede state. However, I often feel that the biggest problem with politics is that politics are involved. Frankly, I haven’t the patience for it. But I take heart in the fact that I believe there is a large and growing contingent that is also losing patience with the system as its stands. So I will take solace, should I be cast out, in at least knowing that I did not  resort to subterfuge nor misdirection.

So in terms of state elections. I’ve not yet surveyed the field. I am aware of one other candidate for your office, but know little about him. I will tell you this – the way you conducted the State assembly this time around made me proud to be a Republican. Especially after expecting the worst, having participated in two cycles of Dick Wadhams’ tinpot dictatorship. Though I’d still like to further explore our delegation’s abstentions at RNC with you at some point — I have spoken with several of them, and would like to get your perspective on the issue.

If there is a candidate that can show sincere intent for reform at a national level, while not giving ground on the improvements we’ve seen during your tenure (or even improving upon them) at the state level, that is the candidate for Chair that will have my vote.

I wish you luck – I believe it would improve us all.

Joe Breher
Vice Chair,
Boulder County Republicans
Are You Free?