Posted on | March 6, 2010 | 33 Comments
Ever since John Cornyn and the NRSC backed Charlie Crist in Florida last May, that’s been the basic message of Not One Red Cent. But if you thought Florida Republicans were outraged at national GOP meddling in their primary, just wait until you see the ‘Bama buzzsaw that hits John Boehner when he gets to Huntsville on Monday:
Not long after invitations were sent out for a Rep. Parker Griffith fundraising event, headlined by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), several local organizations from both sides of the political spectrum announced plans to protest the event. Planned for March 8, 2010 at the Space & Rocket Center, starting at 5:00 pm, the the protest will include members of the Huntsville Tea Party, Left In Alabama, Athens-Limestone Tea Party Patriots, AAMU Democrats Student Club, The Dale Jackson Show, North Alabama Healthcare for All, Madison County Republican Executive Committee, and the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee. AFL-CIO will be holding a press conference at the Marriott Hotel near the Space & Rocket Center in protestation, before the protest event and the fundraiser. Organizers invite the public to attend.
“We are sending a message to the national Republican establishment: stay out of our primary. . . . We’re pushing back against the political machine,” said Christie Carden, founder of the Huntsville Tea Party. . . .
Read all of that. Just as with Cornyn’s support for Crist against Marco Rubio, Boehner’s backing of Griffith puts the national GOP establishment in the position of campaigning against the exact kind of dynamic young leaders they need to be supporting. Republican candidate Les Phillip:
“Congressman Boehner coming to Huntsville to raise money for Parker Griffith goes to show exactly how out of touch Washington D.C. is with the rest of America and their refusal to listen to “We the People”,” remarked Phillip.
“Two of our local Republican executive committees specifically asked the National Republican Congressional Committee to stay out of this race and let the people of North Alabama decide who our best candidate is, but they refuse to listen because they think they know better than we do what is best for the fifth district.” . . .
“John Boehner and the NRCC are supporting Griffith with the notion that he will lure more Democrats to switch parties. This approach does not take into consideration the conservative nature of Republicans in Alabama’s 5th district, or Griffith’s record of voting with Nancy Pelosi nearly 85% of the time, more than many of his former Democrat colleagues.”
The liberal blog Left in Alabama has announced support for Monday’s protest:
Griffith is everybody’s problem. Sure, I won’t agree with everyone at this protest on every single thing — maybe not on most things. But we all agree that Griffith has got to go, and for now that one common purpose will let us stand on the same sidewalk in near perfect harmony.
Wingnuts and Moonbats unite! You have nothing to lose but those clueless morons at the national GOP!
UPDATE: Just got off the phone with a conservative operative who disagrees with my criticism of Boehner. “It’s his job. It’s what he’s got to do.”
Yes, I know, and it’s time for a change in the job description.
National party interference in contested primaries is poisonous, and if Griffith was promised help in the primary in exchange for switching parties, he was promised something that he had no right to expect. And let me explain something else that should be obvious: Good candidates don’t need the national party to bail them out in the primaries.
Just go down the list of worthless assholes that the national GOP has wasted money on in recent years: Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chafee, Charlie Crist — see a pattern here?
Speaking of worthless assholes: Bob Corker. But I digress . . .
As I told my friend in our phone conversation, the major problem at GOP-HQ — encompassing RNC, NRCC, NRSC and the rest of the D.C.-based party apparatus — appears to involve staffers who combine arrogance and incompetence in a particularly dangerous way. I refer you to last October, when House conservatives confronted NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions for the Scozzafava screw-up:
Sessions was called out by conservative members of the caucus, and challenged when asked why NRCC resources — cash and personnel — were being used for Scozzafava. “We have a conservative running in this race, and the Republican Party is not with him,” says a conservative House member who attended the meeting. “There are a number of us who are profoundly embarrassed by this race, and while we don’t blame Pete, we do blame the NRCC staff for apparently not doing its job.” . . .
According to NRCC staff, Scozzafava was viewed as the “most cooperative” candidate of a group put forward by local Republican Party bosses in the 23rd District. “She wasn’t going to be a loose cannon and the money was happy with her,” says one NRCC source . . . “Ideally, we wanted someone who could self-finance, but we didn’t have anyone like that,” says the NRCC source. “Then we went with someone who would have a natural pool of donors; [Scozzafava] met that criteria.”
Where do they find idiots like this? Does the NRCC personnel department have a special program for hiring feeble-minded dimwits? Is there a stupid quota at GOP headquarters, or are these staff jobs reserved for particularly inept relatives of major Republican donors? “Don’t worry about flunking out, son. If all else fails, I’ll get you a job with the Republican Party.”
Which brings me to the Powerpoint mess from earlier this week:
The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said. . . .
The 72-page document was provided to POLITICO by a Democrat, who said a hard copy had been left in the hotel hosting the $2,500-a-head retreat, the Gasparilla Inn & Club. Sources at the event said the presentation was delivered by Bickhart and by the RNC Finance Chairman, Peter Terpeluk, a former ambassador to Luxembourg under President George W. Bush.
One GOP donor got his knickers in a twist over the “uncivil” tone of that presentation — Dan Riehl addressed that complaint today — but complaints about incivility miss the larger point: What moron was responsible for this stupid mess and who hired him?
When I saw the Powerpoint presentation, I was stunned by its crude, amateurish quality. On Page 10, the presentation says RNC raised $81 million in 2009, so why couldn’t they have spent a few bucks to hire someone with minimal competency in graphic design? Pages 29-31 of this thing look like they were scripted and designed by an eighth-grader.
Maybe Jed Clampett is a major Republican donor and Jethro is in charge of graphic design at the RNC. But the point is that the stupidity of the person who designed this Powerpoint presentation is exceeded only by the stupidity of the person who hired the person who designed it, both of whom are less stupid than the idiot responsible for it ending up in the hands of the Politico.
At some point, this kind of stupidity and incompetence at Republican Party headquarters ceases to be a series of random incidents and begins to be discernible as a pattern. Maybe the grassroots activists in Alabama are wrong to blame John Boehner for the deal that requires him to support Parker Griffith, but they are certainly right in their belief that the national GOP has exceeded its stupid quota.