Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Eyes Have It - Scripts & Tricks at Tampa RNC 2012

I blew into Tampa on Sunday night along with Hurricane Isaac and he promptly made a left turn. The RNC machine and Team Romney have proved a bit less accommodating. I was eager to compare RNC2012 to RNC2008——where the air was charged, the base was ecstatic over the Palin pick, and McCain was virtually ignored at his own coronation ceremony.
To christen my Florida trip, I grabbed a wheelchair in the airport and sat in it on the curb, awaiting my ride. The only thing I was missing was my own oxygen tank. After witnessing the "business" conducted at the convention Tuesday, I am convinced the establishment tools are sucking on some other type of gas.
While the MSM focuses on interviewing the balloon guy (See Fox News, Bill Hemmer) and the live coverage is dominated by pundits like Karl Rove and Bill Kristol who personify neo-conservativism, I observe and document what is really happening in Tampa. I have chosen a seat near the floor with a partial view of the stage and a full view of the teleprompter. That's how I saw the first pre-determined floor "vote" unravel. Contrary to Boehner's script, the "aye's" quite clearly did not have it.
The epic power grab the RNC pulled via rule change on delegate selection received some news coverage before the vote. This must have helped put party planners on the offensive. John Boehner presided over a convention that seems to have been planned like a war——the continued war within. With Monday's activities cancelled allegedly by Isaac, both sides had extra time to plan their attack. Strategy meetings convened in secret. I attended one held to galvanize grassroots leaders' efforts against the majority report of the Rules Committee. I was amazed at the level of intensity. This has nothing to do with securing the election for Romney and everything to do with ensuring the top spot can always be bought in the future.
In Tampa, delegations not unified for Romney, including Texas, were seated by the RNC as far away from the stage as possible. I am currently getting reports that grassroots champion Morton Blackwell's bus, along with the entire Virginia delegation, circled the arena until the Rules vote was over. Photos are surfacing of party insiders blocking delegates' microphones. Parliamentary procedure does not exist at this sham convention. Check out the resolution/Rules vote here at 1:00 and know that I personally saw the teleprompter read "The Aye's have it" BEFORE the delegation voted. (UPDATE: Just found this video on YouTube as proof.)
How did Team Romney and the RNC pull this off? Let me count the ways. Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri's microphone was allegedly cut during the scripted Rules vote to prevent the delegation from calling for points of order or for a simple standing ("division") vote when the voice vote was obviously too close to call. Instead, massive screams from delegates for "Point of Order" were hijacked by insiders chanting "USA! USA!" In hindsight, these occurrences would make a fantastic study. Television audiences should be told that every time they heard the "USA" chants broadcast, it was to mask the voices of others. Such tactics were, in reality, as patriotic as The Patriot Act itself. As an American, I am embarrassed and saddened to see such Gestapo-style methods of suppression in my own country.
Texas National Delegate Jay Stang commented Monday on the proposed Rules change, "Anybody who has any sliver of independent thought or principle will be ejected as a delegate if they don't line up perfectly with the candidate. It's like a Stalinist purge." Keep in mind, national delegate selection occurs before the party has an official nominee. This will result in 100% support to nominate the front-runner, thereby making an RNC convention virtually unnecessary. Stang continued, "They'll get rid of anybody they don't like. So you would have a phenomenon where only the candidate's buddies, donors...would be delegates. There wouldn't be room for the grassroots."
Apparently the RNC is still not familiar with the CIA term "blowback"...for that is what they will get from this ultimate consolidation of power. Its army of doorknockers were just kicked out in the cold. Sure, they are consolidating the big money behind Romney and coaching donors how they can spread donations across state parties and the RNC in order to achieve six figure totals. If it is truly only about fundraising, Romney is in——and so are they. But at least half of the national RNC delegates this year walked away in disgust. What will be result? The GOP just slit its throat, disemboweled its base, all but ensured an Obama re-election, and hopefully a strong, limited government, pro-grassroots primary candidate in 2016.
Perhaps one of the most gratifying aspects of the convention is seeing the huge numbers of liberty delegates, stealth and declared, this year as compared to 2008. Legions of "stealth delegates" were coached by Team Romney people on how to frustrate the efforts of non-Romney delegates trying to speak or conduct business.
Politics is a crafty game, to be sure, and the stakes are high. This year it is so obviously Money vs. Ideology, they didn't even try to pretend otherwise. The "Death Tax" was discussed more than any other topic among elite Romney supporters. Prudent students of history will recognize the age-old pattern. When I get home, I plan to brush up on the French Revolution, maybe hit an oxygen bar or two, and try to recover from the "bread and circuses" stage show that was just fed to the world as a convention.
“Small men seeking great wealth or power have too often and too long turned even the highest offices of public service into mere personal opportunity.” - Barry Goldwater, 1964 RNC Nomination Acceptance Speech
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” - Thomas Jefferson
More sources and explanations:
Maine Delegation Unseated/Romney Questioned
Boehner Booed
The GOP Can, Because You'll Take It

1 comment:

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