The Empire Strikes Back
By Steve Deace
After two consecutive primary cycles best known for a conservative grassroots/Tea Party rebellion against the Republican Party establishment, the empire is striking back with a vengeance.
With establishment proxy Mitt Romney all but assured of being the party’s presidential standard-bearer, his acolytes are in Tampa running roughshod over the pre-convention rules committee according to little birdies I’ve spoken to down there.
“Romney’s people came out Friday and just ran amendment after amendment to get back control of the party,” one Little Birdie said. “They’re angering a lot of people in a turn out the base election. It’s almost like they don’t want to win the election this fall.”
Little Birdies highlighted two rules changes in particular that should concern grassroots conservatives/Tea Partiers.
“They’re trying to make it that every four years the party platform has to be approved by the nominee for president,” one Little Birdie said. “That means the enduring principles that make most of us Republicans would essentially be held up for approval by whoever wins the presidential nomination. Imagine the party establishment re-defining our platform if given the chance.”
The mainstream media has noted the Republican Party platform says there are no exceptions to the sanctity of life, while this week the Romney campaign said it would consent to killing children conceived in rape and incest like RNC delegate Rebecca Kiessling. The party platform also opposes mandates like the one found in Romneycare.
But that’s not all.
“The establishment wants to remove penalties for states that move their primaries or caucuses ahead of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to be removed,” one Little Birdie said. “That means a liberal, pro-establishment, big money state like California or New York could jump ahead of those more conservative states, and an establishment candidate could essentially try and buy the nomination in a Democrat state before conservatives even have a say.”
How might those rules have impacted the 2012 primary process?
“If states jumped ahead of the traditional early states in 2012, they lost up to half of their delegates,” a Little Birdie said. “If the rules are changed, that won’t happen. So if a bunch of big money blue states jump ahead of the early states, you can take underfunded candidates that social conservatives favor like Rick Santorum and forget that happening again. He’s exactly the kind of candidate that they’re trying to stop.”
Earlier this year the underdog Santorum captured the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses, and won a total of 11 states despite being dramatically out-spent by Romney. This pushed the primary battle into mid-April when in 2008 it was essentially over by the first of March.
Can anything be done to stop these rules from being ratified?
“The full convention still has to approve the amendments from the rules committee, but in the past that’s been almost automatic,” a Little Birdie said. “That’s why we’ve got to get the word out about this. Between what I’ve seen these people down here trying to do to the kinds of grassroots people that have supported Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul the past two cycles, they’re almost giving their own base incentive to not want Romney to win. Because of all the primary losses, (the establishment) is trying to put rules in place that leaves them in charge for a long time if Romney wins.”
One of the most respected conservative grassroots leaders in the country, Morton Blackwell of the Leadership Institute, called the Romney campaign’s takeover attempt “the most awful proposed amendments I’ve seen presented to this committee.”
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