GOP Presidential Field: Scapegoating Nevada
by Albert Bregar
It has been more than one year since the Republican National Committee and the Democratic Committee came together in a bipartisan fashion to adopt updated rules governing the nomination process. This was done in an effort to prevent the kind of confusion and chaos that occurred after Florida and Michigan moved their primaries into January in 2008. The modified rules would in effect give provide for the punishment of any states that would attempt to change their primary or caucus dates in opposition to the approved rules. It was naturally assumed that this rule change would prevent a repeat of 2008.
All was going smoothly until Florida decided to buck the rules and moved their primary date to January 31st. This in turn prompted South Carolina to move their primary date to January 21st which in turn led Nevada to pick January 14th for their caucus date. This prompted to the state of New Hampshire to contemplate picking and early December date for their primary and Iowa to select January 3rd for its caucus date.
As you can see, Florida’s violation of RNC rules have created a domino effect on the early part of the 2012 nomination process. When the State of Florida decided to blatantly flout the rules of the nominating process they created a chaotic and uncertain atmosphere that has spread across the country. Clearly Florida should be subject to punishment from not just the RNC for its rules violations, but the candidates themselves can and should boycott the state to affirm their support for the integrity of the nominating process.
However this does not seem to be the case. Instead there seems to be a movement shaping up within the GOP field to scapegoat Nevada. There is a clear desire to place the blame on one individual state for the chaos and confusion that have been wrought on the nomination process, but that blame is being placed upon the victim. It is like blaming the rape victim for getting raped. Several GOP Presidential hopefuls have already spoken up with a vow to boycott the Nevada contest. In fact Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Jon Huntsman have all vowed to boycott the Nevada contest.
Like I said these boycott’s are the equivalent of the blaming the victim for being the victim. If the Presidential candidates wanted to preserve the integrity of the nominating process they would absolutely boycott the State of Florida’s contest. It was the date change in Florida that initiated this chaotic snowball that we are now experiencing. Florida was and is the origin. If they want to punish someone, punish Florida.
However, I don’t really see that happening because there are just too many votes in Florida for the candidates to ignore. And this really shows the candidates in a different light. Do they really want to preserve the nominating process or are they just attempting to pander and appear tough? And the RNC has been all too quiet on the issue as well. If the RNC will not hold states accountable to the rules, then what good are they? If the RNC refuses to punish Florida you will see an unraveling of the nominating process. If you think the chaos that we are feeling now is bad, wait until the other states catch a whiff of the weakness of the RNC.
Albert Bregar is a commentator for the Iowa Defense Alliance. To find out more, click here.