Last Saturday I attended the Prince William County GOP Convention. The affair was well done and tribute to the people involved. At least a couple hundred people showed up. The speakers included a large percentage of our local Republican Party officials and many candidates for political office. Here is the list.
- Cory Stewart – Chairman of the PWC Board of County Supervisors
- Wally Covington – Brentsville District Supervisor
- Glen Hill – PWC Sheriff
- Michelle McQuigg – PWC Clerk of the Circuit Court
- Jackson Miller – Delegate, 50th District
- Marty Nohe – Coles District Supervisor
- Bob Marshall – Delegate, 13th District
- John Stirrup – Gainesville District Supervisor
- Mike May – Occoquan District Supervisor
- Milt Johns – Chairman of the PWC School Board
- Jeff Frederick – Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia
- Dave Foster – Candidate for Attorney General of Virginia
- Scott Lingamfelter – Delegate, 31st District
- Frank Wolf – Congressman for the 10th District
- Amy Frederick – Candidate for Delegate, 52 District
- Rafael Lopez – Candidate for Delegate, 52 District
- Rich Anderson – Candidate for Delegate, 51st District
- Jim Gilmore – former Governor of Virginia
Why did all these people show up? The meeting was not needed. There were some decisions made, but the decisions were not necessary. So why? Right now the Republican Party is experiencing a resurgence. Two factors are at play.
- The election of Barack Obama and a majority Democratic Party Congress has scared lots of folks. Obama is clearly a socialist. It has become apparent that Obama’s and Democratic Party’s policies threaten both our liberty and our economy.
- People are looking for leadership. Because the Republican Party is fighting Obama and the Democrats, people hope the opposition can successfully rally around the Republican Party.
Hence the Prince William GOP successfully used what would ordinarily be a nonevent as a rally. Faced with the threat from Washington, local PWC Republican set aside their differences and worked together. In fact, the PWC GOP’s ability to get everyone work together is the main reason for the PWC GOP’s success. Instead of feuding, the local PWC GOP insists on discipline and cooperation.
For example, outside of the speeches, there were two other activities worth noting.
- The party excluded three members from participating as delegates to the upcoming Republican Party state convention in Richmond, Virginia (see here). The party excluded two members because they had chosen to run against the candidates of the Republican Party, and they excluded the third because he had endorsed Obama’s candidacy in the newspapers.
- The PWC GOP passed four resolutions. Three of the resolutions endorsed the party’s defense of the right to life for the unborn. The fourth defended Jeff Frederick as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. In addition to a message from Frederick, the text of these resolutions are available on the main page of www.pwcgop.org website.
Unfortunately, instead promoting the causes stated in the Republican Creed, some members of the Republican Party of Virginia would rather waste time and energy trying to remove Frederick from his position. When we have party infighting, we end up with this kind of story in the news media.
He said his detractors weakened the party by playing out the latest of several rifts that have beset Virginia’s party since 2001 in full view of the state’s journalists and political bloggers.
Among the senior Republicans calling for Frederick to step down or be fired are all five of the state’s GOP congressmen, all six state Senate Republican leaders, most of the party’s House of Delegates leaders, presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell, and 58 of the party’s 77 state central committee members who will determine his fate.
He blamed his enemies for a “top-down approach we had taken for so many years, to disappointing–and sometimes disastrous _ results at the ballot box.” (from here)
Instead of the news media filling air time and news print with stories about excessive government, we get to hear about Republican Party infighting. Yet what Frederick said is true. The top-down approach has not worked.
The Republican Party does not exist to be bossed around by Bob McDonnell or any other candidates for public office. A political party exists for two purposes.
- To get its candidates elected.
- To hold the candidates it helps to get elected accountable.
A political party can serve its legitimate purpose only if it serves as the voice of people with shared beliefs. A political party can only win elections if it speaks for a majority of the people.
We all know why the Republican Party lost the last election. Elected Republican officials did not keep their promises. Because party members have not worked hard enough to hold their candidates accountable, elected Republican officials started acting like big government, big spending fools. When we let RINOs continue to run for office as nominees of the Republican Party, we lost brand loyalty. The Republican base gave up and stayed home. When the news media portrayed Obama as some kind of centrist, not enough people cared enough to see that lie for what it was. After all, what was the alternative?
Our elected and loser Republicans need to humble themselves a bit. We lost nationally. Frederick did not lose the election. Elected Republican officials too greedy for power and control lost the election. We will only recover from these losses if party members are willing to exert authority over the candidates who want and need their nomination.
Will party members rally? Can Republicans win next November?
Ronald Reagan‘s formula for political success included something too often found in short supply in the Republican Party these days, optimism. Although many of the Republican Party’s leaders appeal to Reagan’s memory, too many do not seem to appreciate how he succeeded. Instead of fighting Democrats or his fellow Republicans, Reagan fought for the People. Reagan had confidence his fellow Americans could run their own affairs. Just as Reagan did, our elected Republican officials need accept limits on their authority. Let party members run the party. After all, isn’t the acceptance of limits by the powerful one of the things that distinquishes the Republican Party?