So yesterday there was a big floor battle over the changing of some RNC rules that some say would squelch the grassroots and give more power to the beltway insiders of the party. Many were shocked (shocked!) at this power-grab the establishment wing of the party at a time when unity is needed to defeat Obama. To me, it’s not much of a surprise.
Erick Erickson over at RedState floated an interesting theory.
I’ve been talking to some of the older delegates who have been around for a while. They have a theory that only people who’ve been in politics at this level for a very long time could come up with.
Back in 1992, John Sununu had been pushed out of the White House as Chief of Staff, but was still a committed partisan for George H. W. Bush. Ben Ginsberg was a lawyer with the Republican Party.
In 1992, Pat Buchanan challenged George H. W. Bush, forced his way into the convention as a speaker, and lots of conservatives rallied to him. It was a very bad year for Team George H. W. Bush and to this day social conservatives and Pat Buchanan get blamed.
This year, John Sununu and Ben Ginsberg are with Mitt Romney. They saw an upstart campaign from Rick Santorum, who rallied social conservatives like Pat Buchanan did in 1992. He got himself onto the convention stage with a speech, tonight, on welfare that a number of prominent Republicans are worried about.
The Republican Party has been in a state of civil war for at least 50 years. Back in Goldwater’s day he was fighting a Republican establishment that was “New Deal Light” thus leading to his campaign slogan “A Choice, Not An Echo.” And like those Republicans in the 1960s that weren’t overly concerned about LBJ, many of them today are not as concerned about Obama as they might let on. And why should they be? They are part of the elite and when you’re in that club the rules don’t apply to you. For them, it’s about the game, having a seat at the table. Even if our worst fears are realized with Barack Obama, John Sununu and Ben Ginsberg aren’t going to have to worry about losing their house(s) or standing in an unemployment line. They’re concerned about having a piece of the action and the prestige that comes with it and in some cases, yes, about settling scores. Sununu has been an excellent surrogate in the media for Mitt Romney but many of us will never forget that he is the one responsible for Supreme Court Justice David Souter; a mistake that has had lasting effects. I’m sure Sununu associates the Tea Party with the Pat Buchanan crowd of yesteryear, but the Tea Party isn’t just social-cons; it’s also libertarians like myself who have eyes and know what they’re for.
Bottom line, the GOP civil war is not going to be won or lost by the changing of minds; it’s all about the numbers. Until there’s more of us than there are of them, we don’t have a chance of controlling the party. We’ve made inroads but you see how people like Senator Ron Johnson, who refuse to tow the elitist’s line, get punished with stories planted in the press about “difficulty” and the like. So, to combat this we have to send more Ron Johnsons to Washington. It’s as simple as that. Until we send enough of the right people to Washington, guys like John Boehner will run the party. Don’t get mad, get to work.