I got home last night late, and I am not good at sleeping late. Therefore, I am tired. So I am just going to make a few cynical observations about sausage-making and thank God sausage still tastes good.
What I Did Yesterday
Yesterday, I attended the Republican Party of Virginia convention in Richmond, VA. That made for a L-O-N-G day.
For the most part, government is disgusting work. Even structured as a constitutional republic, government still reeks of abusive power and incompetence. Hence, we think of sausages, something we find increasingly less delectable the more we learn more about it.
The Poor Acoustics
To nominate its candidates for statewide sausage-makers, the Republican Party held its convention in the Richmond Coliseum.
PWC, Stafford and Loudoun are all in the nosebleed seats on one side while Fairfax is on the other. Horrible acoustics in the Richmond Coliseum. (from here)
Of course, I sat with Prince William County’s delegation, and the acoustics were awful. Since my hearing is already poor, I had difficulty understanding the speeches. Therefore, I cannot recall being inspired by any of the speakers — just frustrated by my inability to hear them clearly.
Could the party have made a better choice than the Richmond Coliseum? With about 10,000 people in attendance, I guess not, but I don’t know why anyone would bother paying money to attend a concert in that place.
Crummy Reporting On The Balloting
There were various shenanigans at the convention (Chesapeake bishop surprises, wins Va. GOP lieutenant governor nomination), but here is something that has not gotten much coverage. In RPV convention updates, Chelyen Davis of Fredericksburg.com had this report.
Stafford supervisor Susan Stimpson was eliminated in the second round of balloting for the Republican lieutenant governor’s nomination. But her staffers say they tried to protest the vote because delegates were misled into thinking she did poorly in the first round.
What happened is Stimpson finished second in the first round of balloting (see Tech Problems Slow GOP Convention Results). However, when convention chair Delegate Tim Hugo gave the preliminary results, he provided the convention incomplete, therefore misleading, information. When Hugo said which candidates would be on the ballot in the second round of balloting, he gave Stimpson’s name last. His choice of words, that is, the order of the names, implied Stimpson had finished in fifth place, thus barely making it into the second round. That was unfortunate. In second place in the first round of voting, Stimpson still had a real chance of winning in subsequent rounds of voting. In fifth place she had almost none.
Apparently, Hugo just wanted convention delegates to know which candidates remained eligible on the second ballot (The first ballot eliminated two of the original seven.), and he communicated more than he intended. However, if that is the case, then Hugo misunderstood the process. Because each round of balloting allows the delegates to shift their support to another candidate, the delegates must know which candidates are garnering the most support. Even though E.W. Jackson may have been the most popular first choice, Stimpson still might have won. If the delegates thought she had a chance of winning, then the delegates might have selected her as their second or third choice. In fifth place, Stimpson had no chance of winning.
Why mention this? Although it may first appear otherwise, Stimpson made an excellent effort. Events beyond her control brought her campaign to a halt. That suggests she has no reason to give up her quest for statewide office. Instead, her supporters should take heart; Stimpson has good reason to consider running again. Even Ronald Reagan had to run more than once.
Undoubtedly, relatively few people, particularly Susan Stimpson’s supporters, left the convention satisfied with the process.
Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. – Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (from here)
Churchill spoke these words after WWII. Even though his party led the United Kingdom to victory in the bitter struggle that was WWII, in 1945 the people voted for that other party. What might have infuriated a lesser man, Churchill accepted with surprising grace. Thus, Churchill continued to serve, eventually serving a second term as Prime Minister.
Churchill accepted the imperfection of humanity. Perhaps he just understood why better is the enemy of good.
In spite of the imperfections of the process, the delegates to the 2013 RPV Convention still managed to select three good candidates. Please check out their websites.
- Candidate for Governor: Ken Cuccinelli
- Candidate for Lieutenant Governor: E. W. Jackson
- Candidate for Attorney General: Mark Obenshain
None of these men are perfect. What matters is whether each will do the job better than the guy they are running against. If you think they will, then please lend them your support.
Here are some blog reports.
- The Jackson Revolt (The Mason Conservative) From the point of view of a Jackson supporter.
- Republicans cure convention boredom with paper airplanes (watchdog.org) It was not all boredom. I had fun with the paper airplanes too.
- Live Blogging the Virginia Republican Freak Show…er, Convention (Blue Virginia) What amazes me is the title. Undoubtedly, the author actually thinks he is a tolerant soul, but don’t you dare disagree with him.
Here are some biased news media reports (it is all biased.)
- With convention over, VA GOP has big job ahead (watchdog.org)
- Ken Cuccinelli nominated for governor by Virginia GOP (wjla.com)
- Tea party hero Cuccinelli is Va. GOP gov nominee (democraticunderground.com)
- Cuccinelli is Va. GOP gov nominee (politico.com)