Open Letter

Tony Parker, Treasurer–RNC

Reince Priebus, Chairman–RNC


I recently received a letter from Tony Parker which is excerpted below:

Chairman Priebus has written to you several times this year asking you to renew your Republican National Committee membership for 2012  As the Treasurer of the RNC, I’m concerned that we haven’t heard back from you…I know other things come up, and perhaps you’ve just been delayed in renewing your membership.  If that’s the case I understand….I hope you haven’t deserted our Party.

Oh, no, Tony, I haven’t forgotten.  I’ve made substantial political contributions in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.  But at present, I believe the highest leverage can be obtained by contributing directly to campaigns I like, rather than to the RNC or the various umbrella campaign organizations.

For one thing, I’m not very impressed with the way the Republican leadership has chosen to conduct itself, which seems more oriented toward ensuring long-term employment (followed by comfortable retirement) for members of the Republican side of the political class, than it does with pursuing the needed political change.  But in addition,  I am extremely unimpressed by your political marketing skills, particularly those having to do with the ever-more-critical Internet arena.

Please review my post at the Chicago Boyz blog, for some thoughts on this:

Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is…do you, Mr Priebus?

You are failing at social media, not using it effectively either offensively or defensively.  For example, this morning the following image was being circulated on Facebook:


Note the assertion that the problems with medical services for veterans are to be laid at the door of the Republican Party.  A competent political marketing organization would monitor for things like this and make a hard-hitting response post available for sharing immediately.  You don’t seem to be able to do this, or even to see the need for it.

You’re not very good at traditional direct-mail marketing, either.  Most of the very high volume of mail I get from you is so bad it’s embarrassing.  Your DM people seem to think that we are living in the ’50s….not the real ’50s, but some highly stereotypical version thereof:

“Maw!  Maw!  We got us a letter from these political people up in Washington DC…and it must be REAL important!  It has this really long number on it, and it says we HAVE to answer it!”

Most people who have enough money to make significant political contributions have at least some degree of astuteness, and are not likely to respond well to this sort of thing.

The verbal communication of the senior Republican leadership is also generally pretty terrible.  There is too much talking like a Martian, as Thomas Sowell has pointed out:

When the government was shut down during the Clinton administration, Republican leaders who went on television to tell their side of the story talked about “OMB numbers” versus “CBO numbers” — as if most people beyond the Beltway knew what these abbreviations meant or why the statistics in question were relevant to the shutdown. Why talk to them in Beltway-speak? 

As Sowell also said:

You might think that the stakes are high enough for Republicans to put in some serious time trying to clarify their message. As the great economist Alfred Marshall once said, facts do not speak for themselves. If we are waiting for the Republicans to do the speaking, the country is in big trouble. 

Democrats, by contrast, are all talk. They could sell refrigerators to Eskimos before Republicans could sell them blankets.

You…the institutional Republican party…are doing a very poor job at selling and marketing.  The consequences for this country and the world of your failure are likely to be very severe.  I hope that you will solve the problem before it is too late, but history does not lead me to be very optimistic on this front.  Unless and until I see serious evidence of change and improvement, I will be directing my political contributions to individual candidates who appear to “get it,” rather than to the RNC or to the various Republican umbrella campaign organizations.


David Foster

via: paper mail and electronic mail; posted at the Chicago Boyz blog and the Ricochet blog

32 thoughts on “Open Letter”

  1. I contributed to Romney and to Martha McSally, who represents the district in Tucson where I had a house, and to Carly. I immediately throw any RNC mailing in the trash. I am on the mailing list for the local Tea Party and may start going to meetings. I have been involved in local politics and that is an education.

    Many years ago, I was on the CMA Commission on Legislation and flew to Sacramento every month during the legislative session. I did that for eight years. Many of our allies on medical issues were Democrats. California Republicans tended to be hacks. One example was Chris Cox, the Congressman for Newport Beach who was chair of the SEC at the time of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac meltdown. Useless.

    I watched Newport Beach billionaires close the El Toro Marine Air Station as they tried to move the Orange County airport so planes would not fly over their $5 million houses. There was no chance that would work because even airliners taking off from the El Toro site would have to fly over Newport Beach because of prevailing wind over the ocean. Not even billionaires can change the sea breeze.

    I try not to be pessimistic but it’s a struggle. I’ve watched California turn from a beautiful treasure house to a third world pit.

    Chicago was a wonderful place to live when I was a child.

    I think the blue state model will collapse but the GOP seems to have given up and it into feathering nests. Angelo Codevilla had it exactly right.

    No prominent Republican challenged the ruling class’s continued claim of superior insight, nor its denigration of the American people as irritable children who must learn their place. The Republican Party did not disparage the ruling class, because most of its officials are or would like to be part of it.

  2. I can only identify with the GOP on the local level and have only ever given to regional campaigns where I’ve actually met the candidate. I wouldn’t trust a national organization with my money.

  3. A significant item came up this morning. Only 40% of the Trump supporters registered to vote. I have suspected all along that his support is coming from Ron Paul and Perot types who make a lot of noise but don;t often show up at the polls.

    The most glaring discovery was that of Trump’s Twitter following, a mere 39.4 percent were actually eligible to vote—the lowest of any GOP candidate analyzed. To put this in perspective, 95.7 percent of Fiorina’s following could cast a ballot. To determine this, Macromeasures filtered out Twitter followers under 18 years old based on detected high school or middle school student status. Additionally, the study filtered out followers determined to be outside the United States, with little other U.S. interaction on the platform. According to a company spokesperson, spot checks on this group of followers indicated that those filtered out were unlikely to be American, which was possible as Macromeasures’ data “is on the individual level, not the aggregate.”

    This is not dispositive but is an indicator.

  4. “I have suspected all along that his support is coming from Ron Paul and Perot types who make a lot of noise but don’t often show up at the polls.”

    A community organizer won — in very recent history — by inspiring a surprising percentage of noisy but seldom-voting citizens to both register and turn up at the polls.

    I would go so far as to say Perot-type voters are not “low information” voters but those who choose to abstain. Here in Texas a lot of voters with strong conservative leanings and diligent attention to politics fly a black flag below Ol Glory and Lone Star — calling for an accounting of MIAs and POWs. These voter didn’t and would never vote for McCain, or Kerry; feeling both in their Senate careers abdicated power to advance that cause. Perot’s own history of getting his employees out of danger drew some these voters back into elections. This “type” is a small absolute number of voters. But it’s (I hope) an illustration of a kind of voter who isn’t “staying home” out of either ignorance or indifference, but as a statement of disgust. They raise a voice, they insist on having a say, but when they feel they aren’t being heard or respected, they feel no obligation to show up and support a “lesser evil” part or candidate.

  5. When the RNC sent me surveys disguised as contribution solicitations I would answer the typical questions and provide an answer similar to your letter ending with “Due to your lack of attention and incompetence do not expect any funds to be forthcoming”.

    Before sealing the envelope I enclosed a single piece of toilet tissue with a large “$” hand drawn on it.

    They must have gotten the message since the RNC has not wasted the cost of postage on me for at least five years.

  6. “when they feel they aren’t being heard or respected, they feel no obligation to show up and support a “lesser evil” part or candidate.”

    Oh, I agree but that is what got us Bill Clinton and, to some extent, Obama. Black voters turned out in record numbers for Obama but I’m not sure I would call them “informed.”

    I am not happy about the failure of the 1994 to 2006 Congress to do anything about a series of serious domestic issues, chief of which was the Fed actions that led to TARP. Bush did not do enough but Hastert was the worst villain, in my opinion. He was part of the “Illinois Combine” and was as corrupt as Jim Wright or Nancy Pelosi.

  7. I just got a reply from my e-mail of the above post to the RNC:

    Hello David,

    I am sad you feel this way, but I understand your frustrations and hear your concerns loud and clear. We are working to get things on the right track and your feedback is so valuable in helping us move in a positive direction.

    The Republican National Committee’s mission is to support Republican leaders at all levels – from a local state commissioner to a U.S. Senator. We promote limited government and constitutional values as outlined in our party platform, here. (link)

    We are the figurehead for the party, working towards electing a Republican President in 2016, and we continue to make strides in our digital and data departments – both extremely important areas we must succeed in to take back the White House.

    My name is Alex and I am the Director of Outreach and Support at the RNC. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out me. You are a valued member of the Republican party and we are very interested to what you have to say.

    All the best,

    Alex Sarp

    Director of Outreach and Support

  8. “The Republican National Committee’s mission is to support Republican leaders at all levels – from a local state commissioner to a U.S. Senator. We promote limited government and constitutional values as outlined in our party platform.”

    Quite the little comedian, isn’t he?

  9. I have never donated to the RNC. I always target my donations to individual politicians. I did donate some money to the Tea Party Patriots. However, when they failed to support Tea Party type candidates with that money, I stopped giving.

    Also, I agree the GOP is terrible at marketing their ideas and messages. Awful. I think they get votes despite their marketing rather than because.

    And all that said, increasingly I have no moral support for the GOP as an entity, and only support individuals like Joni Ernst and Carly Fiorina. I see very little evidence the GOP is still interested in freedom, free markets and small government. Some words and speeches, but very little evidence.

  10. So do I — donate to individuals, who by their statements and actions seems to really-o and truly-o support the principles of fidelity to the constitution, fiscal responsibility and free markets.
    I got a call from the Central Committee of the GOP a couple of years ago, asking for a donation — my reply was so sulfurous that I never heard from them again. The poor volunteer who placed that call — her ears are likely still ringing. The long-resident branch of my family have been Republicans since my many-times great grandfather (on the maternal side) was slung out of his Quaker meeting for being too enthusiastic about Mr. Lincoln’s war. (Said ancestor was a ferocious Abolitionist, to the point of being involved in the Underground Railroad. Family legend, of course.) Ask me to support the party of spineless, gonad-less, go-along-to-get-their-dip-in-the-trough GOPers? The same establishment GOP insiders who threw Sarah Palen to the wolves? Oh, don’t make me laff.

  11. Michael Kennedy, thanks for the link to Codevilla’s essay. It is lengthy,but well worth the time.
    The ruling class really think they are our betters, but they show they can barely organize a one man parade.

  12. It may not be enough to withhold donations to just the RNC itself. This time around, withhold donations to any Republican at any level, and let them know that you won’t donate a cent to anyone, anywhere until Boehner and McConnell resign their leadership positions.

    If we starve the entire beast, perhaps the pain will percolate upwards. When it becomes evident that state and local offices are at risk as well, because of Boehner and McConnell, maybe money will finally talk. DC is not the only point at which we can apply pain.

  13. I’ve never been involved with political parties nor done much but listen to news and vote. Maybe I’m missing something.

    However besides Fiorina and Carson and, god help us, Trump – none exactly establishment – the party has Walker – who every day went into that capitol and carried on business as he, his family, and supporters were threatened, rousted out, and heard the chamber echoing with those stupid drums. He seemed to show the kind of aggressive normality and quiet courage we need. In the end, he got rid of the teacher’s unions. Jindal installed charter schools and reduced LA’s budget spectacularly. Perry worked to assimilate immigrants and tried with damn little help from the federal government to secure the border. Rubio ran against Crist and got damn little help from the national party, but despite his youthful appearance, he has an eloquence about the possibilities of the country few can match. I’m not arguing for money to the national party but rather that these people seem to me sensible, quite admirable, and not party creatures. They don’t seem quick to fold or evade. Sure, I wish they’d done something about a lot of things; I wish they could have gotten around the Obamas and Lerners and . . of this administration – outthought them and solved the problems of entitlements, handled our foreign policy from Russia to China to Iraq, from Putin to Isis differently, but neither Lindsey Graham or Rand Paul seem Republican party establishment clones. I can see not giving money to the national party – that makes considerable sense. And David’s reasoning is, as always, well-informed and thoughtful. But I can’t see why those who still stand in that big tent are the enemy.

  14. “that these people seem to me sensible, quite admirable, and not party creatures.”

    Yes, there are people who deserve support. Martha McSally was an A 10 pilot in the Air Force and is now the Congresswoman from Tucson. She took the seat from the designated successor to Gabby Gifford who was elected only because her father is a sheriff in Arizona. There is a California Congressman who is worthy of support. Tom McClintock has been solid all along.

    Tom Coburn was a great Senator and there are others deserving of support. The Tea Party moment was contaminated by the professional politicians who tried to take over and have diluted the message.

  15. I hope you haven’t deserted our Party.

    That sounds ominous. It sounds like Soviet-style shaming language.

  16. “I hope you haven’t deserted our Party.”

    No, I think many of us believe that individuals deserve support and I see none among Democrats anymore.

    I’m rereading Stehen Hayes biography of Dick Cheney and he describes how Cheney in the House worked well with Democrats and was often described as a “moderate” before his role as Bush’s VP set loose the hatred that persists, and which he ignores.

    I don’t think those Democrats exist anymore. Some if it was fake. I have read that Gore agreed to cast his vote for the Gulf War only for a price, which I forget. Most were more ethical but few of those have survived the Obama regime. It’s reassuring to see a few that are willing to defy Obama on the Iran debacle.

    Hastert was a disaster as Speaker. I think he is a crook and ignored governing to try to entice “K Street” into a permanent alliance on elections, not governing. Tom DeLay was an ally in this and deserves some of the trouble he got at the hands of Ronny Earle.

    The party is still in doubt as serious governing agents. Codevilla is right about most of them. I don’t think abstaining from voting is wise but some objective criteria are in order. We were hoping the Tea Party would provide it but they seem to have been diverted, either by the Obama IRS or by political ambition. I was very disappointed in what I saw from Richard Armey after he left Congress.

    The Center for Public Integrity reported that Armey was paid $500,000 per year and flew first class, along with other FreedomWorks employees, for work travel.

    On December 3, 2012 Mother Jones reported that Armey, in an email on November 30 to Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks Inc., resigned his positions as chairman and trustee of FreedomWorks and severed all his ties to that organization, effective immediately.[22] Mother Jones reported that Armey’s reasons for resigning were “matters of principle. It’s how you do business as opposed to what you do. But I don’t want to be the guy to create problems.” The Associated Press reported that in September 2012, Armey agreed to resign by November 2012 in exchange for $8 million in consulting fees paid in annual $400,000 installments.

  17. The hapless communication effort of the GOP isn’t isn’t a problem for the establishment. It’s part of their solution.

    If they had an effort good enough to effectively counter the endless lies of the left they might win big enough to take control of all branches of government. This would be a disaster for them, as the rubes of flyoverland would figure out that the party has absolutely no intention of acting upon any of the issues the base actually cares about. Instead, the establishment wants a party strong enough to block the left but too weak to enact any reform. They fear, greatly and I think correctly, that any reform backed by the GOP base would derail their crony capitalist gravy train, which would negatively impact the only thing they actually care about- their bank account balances.

    Hence, they’ve learned a lesson from the 2002-2007 period, which was that if you have control you will be held accountable for failure, so avoid control. And recalling George Bush’s terrible campaign and near-defeat against John Kerry in 2004, I suspect they may have learned the lesson even earlier.

    Anyway, my last experience with the RNC was a phone call, which appeared on my phone as from “unknown.” Answering, I was asked to give them $35. After a couple minutes of heatedly explaining why I wouldn’t be contributing, the guy asked for $25 dollars, as if he hadn’t heard anything I’d said.

    I hung up.

  18. Ginny Says:
    August 14th, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    If I can throw in my 2 cents [minus inflation]; I have followed political parties intensely for most of my life. To my dismay.

    Carson and Trump definitely are not GOPe. And Carson has absolutely zero chance of getting the nomination. If Trump gets it [I don’t think he will because the convention is rigged to be brokered, which will give us ¡Jeb!. It is technical, but at the last convention they changed Republican Party Rule 40b which limits who can be placed in nomination.] it will literally be over the dead body of the Republican Party.

    Walker has fought the fight, and defeated the Democrats. And the Party hates him for it. Cruz has stood up to the Democrats. And the Party hates him for it. Jindal has quietly fought and won in Louisiana, and the Party hates him for it. I, and most conservatives, could easily vote for them. But they will never be allowed to get the nomination. If they do, the Party will take a dive and deliberately lose. I have seen it repeatedly both in my state, and in other states; where a conservative would win the nomination fair and square, and the party would make sure that the Democrat won. They would rather lose to a Democrat than win with a Conservative.

    Xennady Says:
    August 15th, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    refers to that above.

    Rubio stabbed conservatives in the back. He ran with TEA Party support in one hell of a race. And he specifically promised that he opposed Amnesty and Open Borders. And promptly upon getting to Capitol City, he joined with the Democrats sponsoring an Amnesty and Open Borders bill. He is making some of the right noises now, but “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice . . .”. He is considered by the GOPe as sufficiently malleable to replace ¡Jeb! if somehow he should lose.

    Most of the rest are nothing but creatures of the GOPe. Rand Paul is . . . erratic in his stands at any given moment and has allied himself closely with Mitch McConnell for the last year. Lindsey Graham keeps a low profile, but he is John McCain’s Γανυμήδης, who like McCain can absolutely be depended on to provide the Democrats with a Republican vote in the Senate on any critical issue, in the name of bipartisanship [and making sure the Democrats win].

    We have a large field running. Most of them are dependable machine politicians who have absolutely no objection to what has been happening for the last couple of decades.

    If the Republicans do not nominate a conservative, they are going the way of the Whigs, for sure. If they do nominate a conservative [functionally impossible], they will throw the election and go the way of the Whigs. Much of the Republican Party will simply become Democrats.

    Trump is a sort of wild card. If the Republicans nominate ¡Jeb!, Rubio, Christie, etc. and Trump goes 3rd Party, it would be worth voting for him to finish off the unsalvageable Republican Party. The Democrats are going to win anyway, so there would be no net loss.

    All this is, of course based on the assumption of fair, free, and constitutional elections taking place in 2016, which assumption I no longer necessarily make.

    Subotai Bahadur

  19. “We have a large field running. Most of them are dependable machine politicians who have absolutely no objection to what has been happening for the last couple of decades.”

    Yes, and I figure several of them are running only so they can split the vote to help an establishment stooge obtain the nomination. They’ll be rewarded later, or so they’ve been told.

    I’m in unhappy agreement with most of your assessment here, alas.

    However, having become quite fond of my tinfoil hat I suspect that any assumption that we’ve been having fair, free and constitutional elections hasn’t really been correct for a long time. I note that it seems now to be generally agreed that Nixon “lost” the 1960 election due to vote fraud in Chicago, for example, which I think should generate some concern for the integrity of the electoral process but oddly does not. Oddly, that is, if you assume that the integrity of the political process is even a goal for the American political class.

    Plus, note that in 1980 there was a spoiler Republican running for president- Illinois congressman John Anderson. As far as I he recall attracted none of the angst from the gop establishment that Ross Perot got- or that Donald Trump is getting now, when the possibility of an independent run comes up. My scenario- beamed down from on high directly to my beloved metallic hat- is that the gop establishment encouraged Anderson to run with the goal of preventing a Reagan victory. As you said, they’d rather lose to a democrat than win with a conservative. They failed in that instance, obviously, but Bush 41 was able to put it right later and lose to the ethically challenged draft-dodging governor of Arkansas.

    Believing that, I think the gop has grim ugly insoluble problems. Per the party establishment, I should be standing in line to vote for the Jeb, fearing something worse- yet I loath him, and will not vote for him under any circumstances. His stand in, Marco Rubio, I don’t loath so much as despise, thanks to his ambition-inspired backstabbing- but I won’t vote for him either. And if I’m completely wrong, having been betrayed by lies my perfidious hat told me, then the problem remains, because as a political party it should have had enough political skill in its professional political ranks to avoid completely alienating supporters such as myself. I should have remained fooled, in other words.

    “If the Republicans do not nominate a conservative, they are going the way of the Whigs, for sure. If they do nominate a conservative [functionally impossible], they will throw the election and go the way of the Whigs.”

    Yep. They’re doomed one way or another, a fate they richly deserve.

  20. ” If they do nominate a conservative [functionally impossible], they will throw the election and go the way of the Whigs. Much of the Republican Party will simply become Democrats.”

    I just don’t accept conspiracy theories about this. I agree that most Republicans are “ruling class” members but don’t believe they “throw elections,” I think the donor class has unhealthy influence, especially since TV has become such a huge factor in elections and the TV networks have such a large financial interest. Consultants make a nice living off the political process and many are only marginally competent. Karl Rove allowed Bush to conceal his DUI in 2000 and almost lost the election as I believe that information coming out very late caused many evangelicals to stay home.

    George HW Bush made a huge error in that tax increase but I still believe that he made a deal with Rostenkowski for Democrats to support Gulf War I in return for the tax increase. I’m a little disappointed in Cheney for not mentioning it in his memoirs but I suspect the information will make it to history books.

    Reagan almost made it in 1976 and there are interesting speculations about whether history might have changed in that event. Ford was an excellent president and gets almost no credit. His Sec Treasury, Bill Simon was superb and his book, “A Time For Truth”, is worth reading for those of us old enough to recall the times.

    I was not a George Bush supporter in 2000 because I thought he knew too little about foreign policy. Still, he did a good job with what he had to face but made a huge error in appointing Bremer to run Iraq.

    The real villain in my view was Hastert and the GOP Congress after 2000 when they had all three branches of government. Jeffords’ treason occurred in the spring but much could still have been accomplished but they behaved like professional politicians and they were.

    I d not support JEB Bush but he was a conservative governor of Florida. The donor class wants amnesty and that should be the third rail of GOP politics. Committing suicide by boycotting the vote next year will not solve anything. There are no compete Democrats.

  21. “I just don’t accept conspiracy theories about this.”

    I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy as the establishment has been quite open about the contempt it has for the base of the party. I’m sure they’d be quite happy to win, but not at the cost of harming their business interests or turning the government over to the Tea Party hordes.

    “George HW Bush made a huge error in that tax increase but I still believe that he made a deal with Rostenkowski for Democrats to support Gulf War I in return for the tax increase.”

    If true, this shows both astonishingly poor judgement as well as a brazen willingness to betray the people who voted for him. Typical GOP behavior in other words, but I’m sure all the right people approved of this decision and prospered from it.

    “I was not a George Bush supporter in 2000 because I thought he knew too little about foreign policy. Still, he did a good job with what he had to face but made a huge error in appointing Bremer to run Iraq.”

    George Bush was an utter catastrophe for the United States who not only botched the Iraq war horribly and failed to prevent the 2008 economic collapse, but also severely and perhaps mortally wounded the Republican party. I suspect Romney would have won handsomely in 2012 except for the grim memory of George Bush- but if not for the grim memory of George Bush McCain may have won in 2008, much like H. W. Bush won in 1988.

    I apologize for sounding like a conspiracy nut, but either the GOP leadership is astonishingly and irrevocably incompetent or they’re working toward goals that they simply won’t tell us. In my view it’s the latter, alas, and my guess is that the upper reaches of the American political establishment are composed of globalist post-Americans who have no real affinity for the United States, its people, its history, or its Constitution.

    “The donor class wants amnesty and that should be the third rail of GOP politics.”

    Yes, amnesty should be the third rail of GOP politics, yet the party oh-so-carefully never attempts to make a case against amnesty or the de facto open borders of this country, despite the obvious national security implications and the never-ending crime wave by illegal aliens.

    Why is that, by the way, if the GOP is on the up and up? As you note above 40 percent of Trump supporters aren’t registered to vote, yet by making an issue out of the obvious the Donald has brought an enormous number of Americans back to the political process. Certainly not all of those folks are going to stick around to vote later, especially if Trump fades away- but why oh why can’t a party supposedly chock full of professional politicians figure out a way to win the support of those people without the blunt crudeness of Trump?

    I mean, assuming they want to, which I no longer believe. Again, I regret sounding like a loon, but there are just too many issues that are never raised and arguments that are never made by the professional politicians of the American political establishment for me to conclude that we’re watching an honest process in DC.

    Immigration is only one of these, more prominent now than usual thanks only to Donald Trump.

  22. Mike K Says:
    August 16th, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I agree that most Republicans are “ruling class” members but don’t believe they “throw elections,”

    I have seen them do it. And I speak as someone who from the time I could vote and until January 2, 2013 was extremely active in the Republican Party. I note that I am not that much younger than you. During that time, I went to our State Convention every two years except twice; once the year I lost a son, the other 2010 when we were founding the TEA Party and there were so many new people involved that they won the delegate seats [and I was happy to see it]. I’ve been a national delegate once. I have once been one of the 5 crazies who ran a presidential campaign in my county, and we kicked Democrat butt. I have also written, produced, and performed in a series of radio commercials that drove the Democrats crazy.

    Been there, done that. Have a few of the shirts.

    In 2010, the TEA Party wave overtook Colorado Republicans. Winning fair and square at precinct caucuses, County Assemblies, the State Convention and Assembly, and in the primary election, the TEA Party won and nominated the candidate for governor and US Senate.

    The Republican Party was horrified. They declared that it was not the function of the Party to support their candidates for Senate and Governor with money, workers, space in County HQ’s or at all. To avoid being accused of totally abandoning them, they did give them a few thousand dollars in the last week of the campaign.

    That was enough to sink the Senate candidate [although he is now a Congressman]. In the Governor’s race, it went farther.

    In Colorado, we have major parties who can name their candidates at conventions by rules set by statutes, and we have minor parties who can name them by any way they want, but have to petition each onto the ballot. The Constitution Party was a minor party. Note the “was”. The statutory dividing line, by the way, is achieving 5% of the vote in the Governor’s race.

    They had named their candidate already. The Republican Central Committee sent “maverick” Republican Tom Tancredo to the Constitution Party. They were offered more money than they had ever seen, and the guarantee that they would achieve Major Party status.

    The Constitution Party dumped their already named candidate and named Tom Tancredo as their governor candidate. They could do that as a minor party. The Republicans then sent their donors and PACs to the Constitution Party saying Tancredo was the “real” Republican candidate. This split the Republican vote, and the Democrat won. Which was what the Republicans wanted. The TEA Party candidates were defeated, which was what the Republicans wanted. The Constitution Party received Major Party status. And the day after the election Tom Tancredo re-registered as a Republican and despite having officially run in opposition to the official Republican candidate, now sits at the right hand of the Republican Central Committee as a favored son.

    We have too many instances of the Republicans helping the Democrats, serving the Democrats, and making war on their own voter base with more vehemence than they ever have against the Democrats.


  23. “George Bush was an utter catastrophe for the United States who not only botched the Iraq war horribly and failed to prevent the 2008 economic collapse”

    This is the sort of thing that turns me off the Trump people.

    Bush was faced with a crisis after 9/11. The crisis was of Clinton’s making. Jamie Gorelick’s “Chinese Wall” between the FBI and CIA. All the ignoring of the terrorist attacks.

    What was he to do ? The Saudis were very unhappy at our presence. We were going to have to move but our presence was the motive for Osama’s attack on 9/11. We were there to enforce the no-fly zone. The sanctions and blockade were collapsing. The “Oil for Food” program was making UN bureaucrats rich.

    That is why he invaded Iraq. He hoped that Saddam would give in but the French and the Russians were telling him we were bluffing. The WMD argument was to help Tony Blair and was a mistake. It was a reason but not THE reason.

    Someday I’ll write a whole post, maybe a book, about the reasons why Bush was forced to do what he did.

    His mistake was not the war, which we won handily, but the occupation. He turned that over to Bremer and that was a terrible decision. I still don’t understand it. He had Jay Garner who had done a great job with the Kurds.

    Subotai, I have spent years in state and local politics too and it seems sometimes that Republicans could not possibly be that stupid but they are. When I was involved in medical issues in California, all our allies were Democrats even though I am firmly committed to a free market in health care. The California Republicans are mostly clowns. The few who weren’t, like Pete Wilson, were hostile. There was one smart GOP state Senator who reformed workers comp but he was an exception.

    That guy was Chuck Poochigian but he is now on the Appeals Court. He was too smart to be governor or this poor stupid state.

  24. Why Poochigian was;t AG and governor.

    In 2006, Capitol Weekly named Poochigian the most effective Senator (excluding the Pro-Tem).[2] However, Poochigian earned a zero rating from Equality California (EQCA) for his opposition to LGBT legislation.[3] EQCA noted that Poochigian opposed every major LGBT bill, including: AB 1001 (prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation); AB 537 (protected LGBT children from harassment and violence in public schools); and AB 25 (established the most basic rights for same-sex domestic partners).[

    Lunatics win California elections which is why I don’t hold her loss against Carly.

  25. “His mistake was not the war, which we won handily, but the occupation. He turned that over to Bremer and that was a terrible decision. I still don’t understand it. He had Jay Garner who had done a great job with the Kurds.”

    Forgive my lack of clarity, which has left you with the impression that I opposed the Iraq War. I did not, and in fact I’ve had many discussions in which I argued in favor of it, using many of the same arguments you make, and more.

    Further tedious commentary deleted, because I feel like I’m not only beating a dead horse but clubbing its bleached bones into dust.

  26. “George Bush was an utter catastrophe for the United States who not only botched the Iraq war horribly ”

    I’m sorry I misunderstood this. How did he “botch” the war ?

  27. “I’m sorry I misunderstood this. How did he “botch” the war ?”

    OK. Since you asked I’ll attempt to finish what I half wrote yesterday and deleted.

    I grabbed that particular quote from you because what you mention is one possible point where Bush botched the war. I recall reading at this very site- possibly from you- a suggestion that Bush could have invaded Iraq, set up some general in place of Hussein, and removed most American troops in a matter of a few weeks or months, leaving that general to deal with the internal problems of that country. Instead, he turned the country over to Bremer and embarked on an expensive and bloody exercise in nation-building, with results well known.

    Then, having decided upon nation-building as US policy, I have always wondered why he never attempted to make the new Iraqi government sell bonds to fund the construction of their infrastructure, instead of using a trillion dollars of borrowed American money. Our supposed allies in the area should have been grateful to purchase those bonds, considering that we had removed a dangerous threat to them and Iraq had the expectation of bountiful oil revenues to pay them back. However, I freely admit that I may simply be too ignorant to know of good reasons why this never happened.

    Meh. Another multitude of occasions which Bush botched it was when he ignored both the Iranian and Syrian attacks against American troops. I recall reading multiple examples of Iranians troops being captured in Iraq, for example. This was plainly casus belli. Considering that in 2009 the Iranian regime was unpopular enough to require troops to put down the weeks of bloody riots that followed a stolen election, it seems at least plausible to me that it would have been overthrown if Bush had responded with force to the killing of American troops. I also wonder why lately overthrowing the Syrian regime has somehow become so important, but said regime was left untouched when it was killing American soldiers- but that would be veering off topic.

    But the primary way Bush botched the war related to domestic politics. As I said I had many discussions about the war, and it’s been a while, but I recall that an important context of all of those discussions- which were generally quite heated- was that no wmd had been found in Iraq at all, period, full stop. So imagine my stunned amazement- after having living through the entire Plame affair- when it was announced that the US and Iraqi government had quietly disposed of 33 tons of yellowcake uranium ore.

    If I recall, by the time the disposal of the yellowcake was announced the war was generally regarded as a disaster, and the gop had lost control of congress. Certainly I thought my time arguing in favor of the war had been wasted, and the political argument in favor of the invasion had been lost.

    Much later, it came out that wmd had in fact been found in Iraq, and the US government was worried that terrorists would obtain possession of them. We were told that everyone knew Iraq was chock full of chemical weapons, but they didn’t count as wmd because everyone knew about them, and in any case the UN inspectors had put stickers on them and etc, etc. Whatevs, water under the bridge, etc.

    The real kicker for me was when it came out that Karl Rove- the architect, as Sean Hannity used to call him, and maybe still does- knew wmd had been found early on- he knew, I emphasize- but decided not to make an issue out of it. He decided not to make an issue out of it, I note, even as the GOP was being shredded by the left because everyone believed wmd had not in fact been found.

    Maybe Rove should have gone to college. Community college at least, assuming he could get into one, which I now doubt.

    But the buck stopped with Bush. You can believe Republicans are just stupid, which I’m sure is correct- but I also think something more is going on, as I’ve already expressed.

    Whatevs. You asked.

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