Dear Fellow Delegate,
On Tuesday of this week, as Republican National Convention delegates, you and I will be voting on rules changes that could fundamentally change our Republican Party — and not for the better...
These rule changes are the most awful I’ve ever seen come before any National Convention.
I’m writing you today to urge you to join the growing effort to stop the worst-ever changes in this Rules Committee’s Report and to vote in favor of amendments to Rules 12 and 15. The Minority Reports will restore important rights and protections which state parties and grassroots Republicans would lose under the Rules Committee Report as written.
These amendments to Rules 12 and 15 are contained in Minority Reports supported by at least 25% of the members of this convention’s Committee on Rules and Order of Business...
I must tell you there is tremendous arm-twisting now to peel signers off of the Minority Reports.
Finally, whether on Minority Reports or on voting down the Rules, it will require at least six states’ delegations to insist upon a roll call vote.
I will not pretend that the deck is not stacked against us.
But many state leaders, liberty-minded activists, and grass-roots conservatives are up-in-arms as word of this power grab spreads.
Our convention will make this important decision Tuesday as some of our first work. Many folks skip these procedural sessions thinking nothing of importance occurs.
This year, that is far from the truth.
If the Rules Committee Report were to pass without adoption of the Minority Reports, it would amount to a power grab by Washington, D.C. party insiders and consultants designed to silence the voice of state party activists and Republican grassroots by:
*** Handing national party officials the power to change national party rules adopted by state and grassroots leaders at the Republican National Convention. For generations, the prohibition of manipulated changes in the national Rules of the Republican Party between national conventions has served as one of the crown jewels of our party. It’s a power grab which opens the door to many future power grabs.
Political power grabs: not pretty.
*** Stripping state parties in all states with binding primaries of the power of choosing who will represent their states as national delegates and alternate delegates.
This outrageous change would empower presidential campaigns to disapprove and remove delegates and alternate delegates selected by rules adopted by state Republican parties. Rather than grassroots activists who won delegate and alternate delegate slots by following state party rules, a large majority of positions would be handed to top donors of the winning campaign.
*** Gutting the great and successful reform adopted in the current election cycle to stop the dangerous trend to front-load the selection of national convention delegates. Our party would move again toward a national primary which would deny grassroots Republicans the opportunity to vet presidential candidates in a nomination contest of reasonable length. This reform must not be abandoned.Michelle Malkin has more.
What evidently happened has been spun as a victory for the grassroots, but it isn't. A "compromise" was approved, whereby the National Committee has been given the authority to make changes independent of the Convention. It's expected that the RNC will make the changes that they couldn't get through the Convention.
This is a slap in the face to conservative activists of every stripe who have worked so hard to bring the GOP the success it had in 2010, and that it has within reach in 2012. This will certainly have -- is already having -- the effect of discouraging activists from working for the national ticket this year. They'll still vote for Romney, but like one local Tea Party leader I know, they won't lift a finger to work for Romney. Their efforts will be directed towards local races.
I am not surprised by this. No one who has been paying attention the past five or more years should be surprised. Much more than losing, the national GOP leadership hates most of all the idea that they should owe their electoral successes to the great unwashed of Tea Party and pro-life rallies, to the neanderthals of the defense of marriage and immigration-enforcement crowds, and to the unenlightened supporters of the gun rights lobby. The question only remains how these groups will react to their snub by the official party apparatus. It won't be a good thing.
The rules have changed. It's fools who are still playing by the old rules. What are you going to do about it?
(Pretty girl H/T: Stormbringer)
UPDATE: Former Illinois Repubican Party general counsel Doug Ibendahl has more:
Yesterday, the Republican National Committee in Tampa adopted some rules changes that shift power from the state parties and the grassroots to the RNC and the GOP presidential nominee. Former Governor John Sununu of New Hampshire touted the new rules as providing “a strong governing framework” for the party over the next four years. But in fact the the new rules should be very troubling and disappointing to conservative grassroots activists, because they move the national Republican Party away from being a decentralized, bottom-up party toward becoming a centralized, top-down party.
The Romney rules effectively disenfranchise grassroots delegates, and will thus tend to weaken and splinter the party over time. They specifically represent a blow to the Tea Party and the Ron Paul movement, and force grassroots conservatives of all stripes to contemplate their future within the GOP...
Yesterday’s fight offers a sobering glimpse of what life will be like for conservatives in a Romney Administration. It proves once again that sometimes we have to beat the Republicans before we can beat the Democrats.