Can the Republican Party continue to allow non-conservative people to lead the party without sacrificing the principles that make it the Republican Party? And as noted conservative commentator Bill Whittle has pointed out, can the GOP win major elections when Republican candidates are not willing to boldly articulate party positions on crucial issues?
The repercussions of allowing Republicans In Name Only – including John McCain, Mitt Romney, Karl Rove, and many individuals at the grassroots level – to lead are taking a toll on the GOP. And creating a ripple effect evidenced here in Maricopa County once again this week. Here’s how it happened.
Former state lawmaker Russell Pearce, a solid conservative dedicated to the Republican Party’s published platform, submitted some resolutions to the legislative committee in Senator McCain’s home district (Legislative District 28). In recent years, McCain had gone to extraordinary lengths and spared no expense in wresting control of this district’s GOP leadership committee away from party base conservatives. The current chairman of LD28 is Scott O’Connor – a self described RINO and the son of now retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Scott O’Connor is a McCain man who, by his own actions, is not interested in the Republican Party platform or the democratic process. And he called a special meeting in LD28 to supposedly address Pearce’s proposed resolutions.
At that meeting, Scott O’Connor introduced the motions in a mocking manner. He also clashed with former LD28 chairman Rob Haney, a conservative who also previously chaired the Maricopa County Republican leadership committee, over the issue of prayer. Evidently a vocal minority of non-Christians had played the offended party card and O’Connor did the typical ACLU-type kneejerk reaction of disallowing meaningful prayer. Following the meeting, O’Connor contacted Haney by email and roundly criticized his behavior. Here’s that email message:
Rob,I appreciate your right to disagree, and I gave you plenty of opportunities to do so last night.However, your tendency to interrupt and play games with the chair and the agenda is a pattern that must end. If you do it again, you will be removed.Adding vocal God Bless and Amens during a moment of silence clearly vocalized your opposition to the suspension of formal prayer at the meeting, but not in a respectful way or time. Do it again and you will be removed.Personally, I don’t really care if we have the prayers or not, but the executive committee and I are respecting the wishes of those who are offended by the practice.I will respect you when start showing some respect. If you want to change a policy, request it formally and it will be considered, but do not disrupt the meeting again with your antics. Maybe you should attend the classes at the Center for Self Governance on how to be more effective in your engagement with political officials.Sincerely,
Then Haney penned a response and went public with it:
OPEN RESPONSE LETTER TO SCOTT O’CONNOR
I am taking the liberty of publishing our exchange of emails in an open forum because I view removal of the Invocation from our LD 28 meetings at the sole discretion of the executive board as a continuance of the attack on religion in our country. Other districts need to be made aware of how easily they can lose the rights they took for granted through the actions of a few anonymous complaints brought to a receptive executive board. To have a universally accepted, decades long practice within the Republican Party ended by fiat of the executive board without even debate or a vote of the body, is the height of arrogance and is reminiscent of Obama’s executive orders.
I would suggest to other LDs that they take preventative action possibly through a bylaw addition which states that the Invocation and Pledge cannot be remove from the opening proceedings of a district meeting without a vote of the LD precinct committeemen.
And, although it should not be necessary to tell you in advance of a motion to be offered in the next meeting to rescind the executive board’s edict to do away with the invocation, please add that motion to your agenda.
Now to your other points:
1) I find it disingenuous that after the meeting you took the time to compliment me on adding to the debate but now you are critical of my doing so.
2) You state that I have a tendency to interrupt and play games with the chair and the agenda and if I do so again, I will be removed. Responsible citizenship requires objections to unilateral dictates. Also, when you began the meeting with an uncalled for ad hominem attack on Russell Pearce, I felt it necessary to call you on it since you had called this unscheduled meeting to discuss the resolutions, not to attack the sponsors of the resolutions. This action was uncalled for and unprofessional. Inyour call letter you stated that we were going to discuss “no less than 11 resolutions put forth by Russell Pearce.” That statement alone was denigrating and you proceeded to expound upon it at the meeting. To those of us who admire and respect Russell Pearce for his long record of unselfish service to our state and country, the attack was a “red flag,” warranting immediate rebuttal.
3) You state that you do not care if we have the prayer or not but you and the executive committee were respecting the wishes of those who were offended by the practice. You appear to have been biased in favor of removal to begin with or you would have brought the matter before the body of PCs for pen discussion and a vote. My guess is that you have offended far more by removing the Invocation without a discussion than were offended by its inclusion.
4) The Preamble to the Republican Platform ends with the sentence, “May God continue to shed his grace on the United States of America.” Do you and the executive committee of LD 28 now place yourselves above the Republican Platform?
5) Your last attack paragraph is too immature to warrant a response.
What are we to conclude from the latest flare-up in this civil war within the Republican Party?
1) It will be harder and harder for Republicans to win crucial elections as long as this conflict continues. A house divided cannot stand. Nor can the party effectively compete against Democrats while it is occupied on another front against renegades in its own party.
2) Sooner or later, the GOP must honor its own written purpose statements articulated in the party platform. The GOP should take a lesson from the Constitution Party, which does not allow candidates for public office to represent it if they do not support the party platform.
3) Those who do not believe in the platform have no right to represent the organization. Party-base Republicans need to recognize them and defeat them. Conservatives need to recapture districts like LD28 and work for the nomination of true Republicans at every level, from city council to president.
4) There can be no compromise between people with diametrically opposed beliefs – especially on the social issues.
5) Party base conservatives must do a better job of articulating party platform principles and helping voters draw distinctions between candidates supporting Republican principles and those who are merely “Democrat lite” candidates. Expose those who are distorting the truth, i.e, nationally syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt, who on nationally-syndicated radio program Thursday referred to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as “a good conservative.” Christie is not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. Neither are McCain, Senator Jeff Flake, or Arizona Senator Michele Reagan, among others.
Party-base conservatives must make better use of the GOP platform and champion it. The platform is the stated, published list of core beliefs of the GOP. While it collects dust, as an after-thought, conservatives and RINOs merely debate some of the same issues that divide Republicans and Democrats. RINOs should not be able to get away with attempts to legitimize Democrat talking points, not on abortion, not on marriage, not on ENDA, not on raising debt ceilings, or the size and reach of government. Rob Haney has dedicated his life to the principles of the party, principles which will lead to life, prosperity and real progress. We must all do the same.
Send the link for the GOP platform to the RINOs in your area today.