Archive for May, 2013

Yesterday the WSRP State Committee voted 55-38 to cancel the 2014 State GOP convention, and replace it with a ‘candidate and party leadership training event’, apparently to be held somewhere in Eastern Washington. The reasons given ranged from “too expensive” to “too few participants”. The convention will presumably resume in 2016 in order to allow the delegates party leaders to choose the nominee for President. Oh, and hopefully everyone likes the 2012 platform, because it won’t be changed until 2016.

Admittedly, my first reaction was akin to that of Doug Parris . It feels like yet another attempt to stifle participation by energized and growing minorities like the Liberty movement and preserve leadership for the likes of Kirby Wilbur and his friends. It was not surprising to find that King County GOP chair Lori Sotelo, she of the ‘Ron Paul insurance’ fame, was the one who introduced this measure. It seemed, after all, rather apropos for the woman who closed down a legislative district caucus to quell a Liberty uprising to now close down the off-year convention, possibly for similar reasons.

As I considered this further though, I realized that the state party’s abdication of its leadership has actually opened the door for county parties to assert themselves in new and creative ways. Like a perpetually drunken father, the WSRP has given up its position in the family structure and allowed other entities to take its place. Other entities, like…say…the Clark County Republican party. Fresh off its resounding  success at the recent Lincoln Day gala, the CCRP may be just the group that could replace an aborted state convention with an event designed to appeal to a multiple-county audience.

Kind of brings a new perspective on the phrase ‘Be the Party’, doesn’t it?

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File this under the most ironic slogan in recent memory.

In winding down from what was a tremendous effort to put out a superlative Lincoln Day Dinner last Saturday, party volunteers were treated the next day to the Columbian’s sniping coverage of the event on Sunday morning. Erin Middlewood, the author of what can only be described as an attempted hit-piece on the Tea Party cloaked as a report on a local fundraiser, gives us the latest reason why you definitely need to go to meetings, rather than let the Columbian go in your stead. An excerpt:

Even though most of the 250 Republicans who attended Saturday’s Lincoln Day dinner drank coffee with their dessert, it was clear the event was all about the Tea Party.

Speakers at the annual fundraising event at Vancouver’s Heathman Lodge called for the party faithful to stand up to government, defend freedom and protect gun rights. Auction items included ammunition and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

While U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler highlighted her efforts working within the halls of government, former gubernatorial candidate Shahram Hadian warned of growing tyranny and militia darling Richard Mack argued for local sovereignty.

The range of passions among the event’s speakers evidences an internal struggle within the local Republican party, now led by Tea Party and gun-rights activists who have nudged aside more moderate Republicans.

To read this article, one would think that the Lincoln Day Dinner had been transformed into a rabid militia rally, complete with members in camo gear wielding AR-15s and cutting their German chocolate cake with bayonets.

According to Middlewood, the fact that a gun or ammunition is sold at a fundraiser is evidence of the Tea Party ‘nudging aside moderate Republicans’. No word on whether the Princess Party that was sold at Saturday’s auction was also a sign that  the Republicans were trying to revive the Monarchy. Do you think that Erin just might be introducing something of her own preconception into this story, maybe?

Regarding Richard Mack, the keynote speaker, Middlewood has this to say:

Mack argues that the county sheriff is the highest law-enforcement authority, a position advocated by the Posse Comitatus movement in the 1970s and ’80s, according to the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights in Seattle. It said the controversial movement has been linked to white supremacist and anti-Semitic views.
Mack was a popular speaker among supporters of the militia movement in the 1990s. The Tea Party has revived his career.
“His ideas haven’t changed,” said Devin Burghart, vice president of the human-rights institute. “His acceptability has.”

The media continues to cast anyone who holds to states’ rights as a racist Neo-Nazi. Advocating that a Sheriff is the highest elected law-enforcement authority has nothing  to do with racism; it is an opinion on the nature of effective government in terms of providing citizens with fair representation. Readers might be interested to note that Sheriff Mack dedicates his book to “Civil Rights hero, Rosa Parks”, and in his speech (you know, the one Erin didn’t stay to listen to), he used her as an example of the need for a sheriff to exert a higher authority.

Folks, ask every one of your public officials, when they’re forced, or had the quandary placed in front of them, are you going to side with the stupid law, or are you going to keep your oath? Are you going to side with the people and the Constitution, or are you going to side with stupid laws? Have we ever done that in this country? Have we ever had stupid laws?  How about let’s go back to December 1, 1955. Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks.  We arrested her…do you remember the ‘big-time charge’ she got? Do you know why she was booked into jail? …What would her booking sheet look like? Failure to give her seat to a white man! I don’t think  I could write such a stupid thing, and yet, we had two cops, sworn guards of our Constitution, who put handcuffs on her and hauled her off to jail, because she wouldn’t give her seat to a white man.

This, of course, did not fit the story that the Columbian was trying to tell, that all Republican functions promote racism. Ironically, it was brought to my attention after the event that of the four Republican speakers that night, one was a Persian American (Hadian), one was Hispanic (Herrera), and one was African American, (Kolditz). All spoke on the dangers of government encroaching on the rights of citizens, a message that was enthusiastically received by the crowd.

The Columbian says “We go to meetings so you don’t have to.” Are they trying to encourage citizen apathy? If citizens don’t organize, if they don’t volunteer in their local party and their government, but just stay home and read Erin Middlewood’s grotesque perspective on meetings, would they gain the same knowledge and insight? A friend’s reaction:

In a most incredible moment of subconscious self-disclosure and candor, the Columbian published, in black and white, their belief that they should be the filter and portrayer of all things which should otherwise concern the citizenry.  In this one simple remark they have unwittingly admitted what their dwindling readership and expanding ex-readership already knows: That the Columbian longs to be the arbiter of what you see and hear, and if their readers know the truth for themselves, then the Columbian’s disregard of it becomes blatant.  So people, do the Columbian a favor and be ignorant.

This arrogance is only exceeded by the added insult of abrogation of their responsibility to the community they are supposed to serve.  How?  By openly advocating greater apathy among its citizens – and doing so in the very banner of their political content!

So stay home.  Disengage.  Let them go to the meetings for you.  They’ll tell you what happened.

Another friend had this to say:

Trying to link the new leadership of the CCRP, the Tea Party, and conservatives in general to “white supremacist and anti-Semitic views” is obscene. I am a Jew firmly planted in the midst of genuine Christian, conservative, patriotic citizens and have never felt a glimmer of racial bias or anti-Semitism. I’m more secure at a CCRP board meeting or a Tea Party rally than I would be at an editorial board meeting of the Columbian ad shopper or a gaggle of their left wing reporters.

That tired old racist crap is working just about as good as the sales department at the “Fish Wrap.”

See you at the next meeting.