It sounds pleasant. It sounds as if it were a virtue. If I were to ask you, “Do you support unity or disunity”, the answer “disunity” may seem to get caught somewhere between the back of your throat and the tip of your tongue.
We’ve heard the calls for unity within the Republican Party here in Virginia for years now, and for the last year, John Whitbeck, Chairman of the RPV, has endeavored to establish party unity amongst the many warring sub-partisan factions. In the past we’ve discovered that if “party unity” means everyone getting together to ensure that Ed Gillespie won a Senate seat, or getting everyone together to ensure that Ken Cuccinelli won the Governors’ Mansion, then “party unity” is a dream, almost, but never quite realized. Mr. Whitbeck, however, appears to have created an opening, a whisper of a chance, to some measure of unity here in Virginia. For this, I believe, he should be regarded warmly.
However, what is “Party Unity”? The common understanding is that we, as Republicans, can fight like cats and dogs during the primaries, but agree to coalesce behind whomever becomes the Republican Nominee. Which begs the question, what does it mean to coalesce? Does it mean to support or vote for? Does it mean doing everything in our power to ensure that the Republican nominee wins? Or does it mean, refusing to publicly oppose the nominee or publicly stating that one intends to, or has, voted for a third party candidate?
There is an impression out there, that what party unity really means, is the commitment of the conservative grassroots to support establishment candidates that can more easily purchase and secure statewide nominations (especially in a convention). This impression is the source of a great deal of resentment amongst conservatives in the State. On the other hand, those falling under the label “establishment” see no reason to bend over backwards for conservatives on behalf of party unity, since, it would seem, the grassroots conservatives are always the first to say, I’m not voting for that RINO”.
Many conservatives refused to vote for Gillespie. Many donors refused to support Cuccinelli. The bitter taste in the mouths of generals and soldiers on both sides hasn’t left their palates.
John Whitbeck, in an act of
absurd courage, has attempted to heal the wounds left unclosed from the Cuccinelli and Gillespie campaigns and to restore “unity”. (If you want to start a heated debate amongst your fellow republican friends of differing political philosophies, I would encourage you to discuss what unity actually means in the context of the Republican Party of Virginia. I would recommend prohibiting both booze and steak knives from the occasion). He’s taken criticism from all factions, which, I am sorry to say, should have been expected.
When you attempt to make everyone happy, no one is happy.
I endorse Mr. Whitbeck’s reelection as Chairman of the RPV, and believe that if unity is truly what he is after, then leadership, not healing, is what we need. We do not need to be cajoled into having warm and cooperative feelings toward one another. This is politics, after all. Getting us to like one another is irrelevant and unnecessary. What we need is a fiscally responsible RPV which executes its responsibilities objectively, which disciplines its officers justly, and which promotes its nominee’s unwaveringly. What the individual voters do, or say, is utterly beside the point and “republicans” should be free to do and say anything they wish without being barred for years from the party. Petty quibbling is unnecessary – we merely need a set of common principles and purpose to hold us together.
Over the last year, I have witnessed John Whitbeck demonstrate the administrative aptitudes requisite a Chairman. That, in itself, is worth continuing his service. What I expect from Mr. Whitbeck going forward is greater leadership and vision. We have a Republican Creed in Virginia. It’s a creed worth honoring. The principles we’re all searching for aren’t new – there is nothing aboriginal to be rediscovered.
“We Believe . . . That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice. That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society. That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government. That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing constitutional limitations. That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense. That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fibre of the Nation.”
As Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, John Whitbeck is the steward of this Republican Creed. If he leads on these principles, then I cannot imagine that our warring factions would have much, in the way of fundamentals, to complain about. We Republicans have a tendency to attempt to tear down everyone that disagrees with us, in order to monopolize power, since power is so rarely shared. Power based on power will always promote a game of thrones. Power based on principle, however, may promote strange bedfellows.
I’m tired of using the phrase RINO and, I admit, I’m not quite sure what that pejorative means anymore. I would prefer to pursue a party of principle, not ideological purity – not utopian unity – because I believe that these principles can unite us as differing parts of a whole. The GOP is a big tent, not a myopic organism. It’s these few principles that we share, which the Democrats do not, that should hold us together as “one” -not quite unified – but ultimately together as a Republican Party. John Whitbeck, more than anyone, has attempted to accomplish precisely this. Success in this regard takes time, time I believe we should consider extending to our Chairman.
We all have bones to pick with our Chairman and I think that’s a good thing.
Originally published on PendletonPenn.com
Having been in the past a Republican, I now call myself a Conservative. Republicans are weak kneed feckless useless pontificators of Bat Guano. There is no difference between a Republican and a Progressive Socialist Democrat. Neither serve the people. Neither uphold the Law. Both would sell out their constituents for a fat cat contributor. They represent the UNIPARTY. It is really one party under the guise of being two. The Republicans have become a JOKE. They say one thing to get elected and immediately stab the people in the back as soon as they take office. I am over you clowns. 1.1 Trillion dollars that fully funds the Lefts agenda. Yeah!!! The Republicans are liars just like the Oppressive Progressive Marxist Socialists. Does National Politics affect local politics, yes. All of you deserve the peoples derision. All of you have become a mockery to the people.
Don’t keep up the fight, keep up the win. Carp and whine all you want, but it doesn’t make a whit of difference unless you win! Voting against doesn’t do anything, find something to vote for! Susan ran a race against a top offender and at best perhaps she scared him for a little while. But when the smoke clears, the establishment wins handily, the challengers are torn, twisted, and blown out of the way.
Or they form mutual admiration societies jockeying around personalities and fundraising pretend organizations.
Go out and win the GOP — get involved at the local level, walk the talk, elect and get elected to local leadership, work your way up — remember not to sell out, and become the establishment — it works for the progressive left that infest America, it worked for the DEM-lite elites that have infested the national and some state machines (mostly blue that you will see snatching the GOP nomination.)
If you’re not already in the GOP machine, or have dopily gotten yourself deemed and/or booted out, get back in there and show them/us how it should be done.
Or go to the tea party personality parades and shake your fist at the invisible establishment that is always just beyond your reach.
United: “Joined together politically, for a common purpose, or by common feelings.”
Unity: “The state of being united or joined as a whole, esp. in a political context; harmony or agreement between people or groups.” (The New Oxford American Dictionary).
It’s okay to have disagreement within the family, but at the end of the day we should remain united around our Republican Creed while remaining focused on a unity of purpose in the 2016 election cycle, which is to elect conservative government at all levels. The cost of not doing so is high — four more years of Democrat rule that will keep our nation on the path to ruin.
All of this infighting, Trump haters, Trump lovers, who waffled, who voted for whom, elites versus workers, ideology versus “winnable” – such noise.
At this point, it all becomes quite simple for this conservative – show me the Chairman candidate that is appalled and opposes the Ryan budget boondoggle, who will fight to eradicate the prioritization of foreign workers over American graduates, and who will stop the perpetuation (if not facilitation) of the ACA national disaster. THAT person gets my vote.
Check with your unit or faction chair, let us know what they say. We start at the bottom, and walk it back up.
Dividing the party up into grass roots and elitists is what is causing the sever schism in the party. I am beginning to think corruption is the biggest problem. It’s the back room deals that no one supposedly knows about that is killing any loyalty to the party. The Feds and the Richmond Republicans engage in it constantly so the locals think they have a kingdom to protect. All of this is enhanced by the fact that the RNC just can’t seem to be able to run anything. They change the rules at will just like Obama and have seemingly lost the will to live. They plant stories in Politico and yet are afraid to stand up for what is right. That behavior used to be kept under wraps, but now since the Democrats do it with no consequence, the Republicans think they can, too.
Getting back to the Republican Creed is the answer. That is the only thing that will unite this party in VA. Ask Dave Brat how he won. There was not much help from the Party, because the party didn’t agree with the Creed. It seems as if the people do. Just ask them. The Republicans are leaving the Creed behind much to the detriment of the cause. Too bad none of them can figure it out. There will be a huge divide until they do.
There certainly is a problem with establishment elitism and conservative grass roots candidates. At the end of the day money seems to run everything and the majority of today’s voters have given up on state and local politics. Many feel as though their voice doesn’t get heard as more liberal policies and legislation influence today’s political landscape. We are teetering on having the left take over VA’s legislating body completely. We need to unite. In my opinion, you vote for the establishment or you vote for the conservative. That message needs to get out to the public.
That’s right, sign those loyalty oaths that should not be so hard for anyone who considers themselves a Republican to fill out. Just do not be blindsided if, when you don’t support the nominee as vigorously as the unit chair thinks you should, you are “deemed” out of your committe, per the amendments the State Central Committee passed on Friday.
Dody, the amendments passed Friday did not affect Article 7 (the section that includes criteria for “deemed to have resigned”). I hope to send an email out soon that covers the amendments that did pass.
Like that particular section(Article 7) is used fairly across the board? Please…that is certainly not something that even resembles the justice that is so lofty sounding in the “Creed”. Several examples come to mind.
The party plan is the governing document for this Virginia GOP. It ought to be enforced fairly across the board. If it is not, then there may need to changes in who is doing the enforcing. If it is unclear, there may need to be changes to the plan itself.
All I was observing above is that Article 7 (the only place in the plan that concerns “deeming”) was not amended nor were amendments to it considered at the SCC meeting on the 11th.
Quit yer bellyachin’ — you ain’t a Republican so know your place and only vote when we allow.
Party members/leaders support the nominee or they watch from the sidelines and party-speak only when party-spoken to.
You don’t want to play Republican Games? Best head for the Island of Misfit Politicos.
Finally, I hear the voice of the annual pre-election warm up hand wringing fetish of the RPV which we seem to religiously undertake every year around this time. It’s only useful purpose I can find is that it reminds me I’m late again on my Christmas shopping list though I do enjoy the annual sing along of “We’re all in This Together” which won’t be preformed this year by the cast of High School Musical but our very own rocking ensemble the Virginia Conservative Network.
Unity and loyalty with regard to the GOP are extremely difficult concepts, but this is not about promoting RPV or VCN. Things have been much worse and could be much worse if we don’t work together. Unlike Democrats, Republicans come with a myriad number of political philosophies. I can no more demand the Republican Party submit to my way of thinking than the Cantor Clingers can demand the supremacy of their own corporatist wing. We still have mutual enemies together and at some point we have to focus on them.
As he very publicly stated in an interview in The Hill recently, Mitch McConnell managed to spare time from his busy Senate leadership schedule, aggressively working to slam through budget deals with the Democrats, to caution everyone against going crazy next year and nominating a bunch of Tea Party wacko birds who can’t possibly win. Understand that for the GOPe Tea Party equates to Republican Conservative, they see no distinction. He skirted very close to the Harry Reid approach of out right violation of Senate rules or order implying all elected positions including the Republican presidential primary efforts under way, with a not so veiled reference to Ted Cruz. So I ask people like yourself who wring their hands claiming we must all join forthwith to fight our “common political enemies” together, WHO do you believe are common political enemies are? Republican Speaker McConnell has been quite clear and very vocal for some time now on whom he and his leadership caucus believe theirs are – YOU! I know it’s cruel and harsh but time to wake up.
Love it how a guy who admits he voted for Sardis is lecturing me on who he wants for RPV Chairman………….
Bless your heart…………
The man left the Libertarian Party Matt. CantorCobb etc. and his ilk held the tent closed.. Think about it. If we open the tent, more folks enter. #win
I sure hope more folks leave the Libertarian Party and engage in the RPV; it’d sure help us win in the future.
Been there, done that, not a chance. We got enough engagers, more than we seem to be able to deem — either with us or against us — time to choose.
Matt, I completely understand your feeling that way. I, however, come to the Republican Party with a great deal of perspective that may, in some cases, often be missed by those who have been inculcated in the GOP for years. When I write, I try to offer that perspective, not to preach to the choir, but to participate in the debate. Bringing more people into the party is a good thing for Republicans, and while Whitbeck isn’t perfect, he is not disenfranchising minority wings of the party from the possibility of participating. This too – is good.
Exactly. Strive for perfection, accept damn good. John Whitbeck is a damned good Republican.
This must not stand. Quick, replace him at once!
Yeah, participating, a seat at the table, a chance for input… And then ‘screw your nominee’… ¡No mas!
Because they care for the party so, and get so concerned when steps are taken to reduce their influence and party clout. Good Riddance!
I don’t like conventions. I never have and never will, but it’s not as if we’ve never had opportunities to fight them. And conservatives, for whatever, seem to support them too, when they believe it’s to their advantage.
Convention is always to our advantage — highest point of focus. Folks will game whatever system is available — conventions hardest to game. Primaries favor incumbent, money, power. Canvass is more accurate, but less flexible. Convention is most representative, most flexible, least vulnerable to outside influence.
The GOP a big rent? Have you ever been to a Republican Party meeting?Going to a Republican meeting is like going to a high school sorority dance. The question is not electing politicians running on the creed but governing and legislating on the principles so described. Should be something everyone would agree on. But alas the Party is still run by pretentious elites. The sad thing is that most don’t have the assets to be elitist, they just like to pretend.
?? High School Sorority dance? You need to go to more meetings — if we could possibly get anyone of that demographic the meetings would be a lot better attended. If the meetings you are attending suck so much, go to some different ones, and tell us about the fun ones.
Steven I usually agree with what you write and your stances on issues and people seems to be principled. John Whitbeck did what just about every politician does — he ran on promises in order to win and once he won, he promptly broke his word. He BROKE his promises. Regardless of how you “feel” about the various issues where he did a 180, what’s most important is to elect people we can trust. I can understand if you like him or even that you want him to win but to go on the record writing about his “absurd” courage is really nonsense. He’s a wobbler. He’s not courageous.
Susan, as a supporter of and donor to your past campaigns, I am embarrassed to read your comments about John Whitbeck. You are so much better than this.
She was. …
Susan, what’s he supposed to do to keep everyone happy? He can’t keep everyone satisfied, or support one side. I think he is trying. I’m not happy with everything he’s done either, believe me, but if an RPV Chairman kept me happy all the time, what room does that leave everyone else?
I am with you. The establishment has to go. It’s time to stop the compromises. How many compromises has the conservative wing ever won. Zero. Think about. When was there ever a bill where we get to compromise going in the reverse direction. For example when did you last see a bill where the government had to actually spend less? The Democrats initiate a bill authorizing an expenditure of a trillion dollars and the Republican save us by only spending nine hundred billion and then tell us how they reduced spending. Just look at the budget and see what the people are paying for. It is criminal. This has to be the time where we must fight for a turn around this unconstitutional government.
Keep up the fight. I am not in your district but I donated to and worked in your campaign.
So what happens when on March 1st Virginia voters find they are required to fill out a loyalty oath before they can get a ballot? Is the party prepared to hear things in the election halls like: “Screw these Republicans, give me a Democrat ballot.”?
Didn’t the last time the Gop tried to cook the books using this idea not create a big enough fire storm? Now you want your state schemes plastered all over CNN on primary night? Really?
The heck are you talking about?
1) Someone motivated to the polls by the likes of Trump aren’t likely to request the ability to vote for Hillary because they had to sign a paper.
2) State code specifically allows for this sort of thing. Voters will already have to state their affiliation in order to vote, as per state code.
3) Schemes? Do you have evidence that someone is acting immorally in the shadows to advance some sort of hidden agenda?
Didn’t think so. Move along.
Voters will already have to state their affiliation in order to vote, as per state code.
That’s right, and the last time the party played with this fill out a form crap they royally pissed off their potential voters. In the current climate that could cause many to say the hell with the RPV. Either start registered party affiliation and close the primaries, or stop playing these stupid paper games.
Sounds like something to take up with the legislature, not the RPV.
It starts with the RPV. They are the ones who decided to pull this loyalty oath crap out for the the upcoming primary.
Your stance is that we should use the tools available to us ONLY if they go to the extreme position you claim to oppose? That doesn’t make much sense.
A LOYALTY OATH in a taxpayer paid OPEN primary is not a tool. Especially this year.
If the RPV uses this, the Virginia results won’t matter because Wolf Blitzer and the rest of MSM will be eating the RPV’s lunch ALL NIGHT LONG. The Virginia Dems will ensure they get the scoop because THEIR party doesn’t resort to such schemes.
Again, let me help you with your usage of the word “scheme”
“To make plans, especially in a devious way or with intent to do something illegal or wrong.”
Now, is this an open primary? Not really. Voters will be required by code to declare party affiliation prior to voting.
The code specifically spells out the right of political parties to use loyalty oaths in primaries. Nothing devious or illegal is happening in any way. THEIR party also uses party affirmation.
Furthermore, this is a massive opportunity to collect emails provided by voters voluntarily. A great resource for local committees.
Just to mention, I share your sentiment regarding taxpayer paid primaries and am primarily a supporter of conventions for the purpose of avoiding the additional tax burden.
Unfortunately we are past that point here.
Voters don’t declare party affiliation. They ask for a particular ballot and they give it to them. If it was as you say, there would be no need for a loyalty oath or a law authorizing one.
you are right. this will lose our party more voters than it gains. But. The party is excluding people at a record rate, so why not one more “test”?
Why would any Republican who wants to select the Republican nominee have a problem saying “I am a Republican” ??????
Seriously… that’s not a loyalty oath, it is a self-declaration, a statement of identification at best. It isn’t a promise to do anything, be anything, or even believe anything particular. If someone isn’t willing to state that they are a Republican, why would they want to participate in the selection of the GOP nominee?
LOL, so being a Virginia Republican is a self-declaration but NOT “a promise to do anything, be anything, or even believe anything particular.” No truer “unintended” words were every wrritten regarding the RPV. Thanks for my daily laugh!
As the article points out, Republicans unite around many things. The declaration statement is not a loyalty oath and differs from formal membership in the Republican party. Members of the Republican party in Virginia (whether those elected to leadership positions in county or city committees, district committees, or the SCC) unite around a creed, are governed by the party plan, and unite to promote certain principles and choose and elect nominees who will do the same. We invite all who agree with us to do the same, but let’s not pretend that this declaration is a moral obligation or burden to anyone.
I’m not disagreeing with anything I just think you may have stumbled upon the perfect, succinct definition of Virginia Republicanism, perhaps we should add it to the creed. My congradulations.
It should be, but a rising tide of mediocrity has lifted our ships away from that.
Careful Larry, you’re creeping towards cynical.
In April 2014 the 10th District Congressional race required a Letter of Intent, which I can say worked very well in Clarke County in dissuading Democrats from voting in our nominating process.
Most people had absolutely no objection to signing the Letter of Intent with over 13,500 people voting in our Firehouse Primary.
Barbara went forth to win 56% to 40% in the General Election.
Well if that worked so well we’d better be damned sure we don’t do that again!
When is the next Firehouse Primary in the 10th?
What is the Letter of Intent for that contest?
I think that’s in the Tea Party Charter.
Jeez, I really shouldn’t have to explain this, but here goes.
Each party picks the nominee. It’s what we do. We open the process to a primary so that the taxpayers get to pay for it, and feel like they get to participate — for almost all primaries, the incumbent wins because of the built-in advantages.
To keep out the riff-raff we use the pledge, and to better the database for the RNC and RPV, we are gathering additional information at the polls.
Record rate my Aunt Fanny.
Oh, so it’s like shopping for Donuts — I’d like one Frosted Republican and the Missus will have the Kreme-Filled Democruller??
Voting a Republican ballot gets you labeled a Republican.
Voting a Democratic ballot gets you a front row seat in I think the 3rd circle of hell.
But, but, but if you’re not a Republican, and you have to sign something saying that you are a Republican, then you have to lie in order to pick the nominee for the Republican Party — and there is a record of this!
What? Taxpayer-paid Open Primary? What manner of man would force the taxpayers to cover this PARTISAN nomination? What kind of Republican thinks it acceptable and financially responsible to saddle the taxpayers with the bill for choosing OUR GOP and democratic nominees? Who would approve this? Would our State Central GOP stand idly by while this happened?
Why, that would be like the 10th district GOP board forcing the taxpayers to pay for a SEPARATE primary to select Barbara Comstock as Congressman for an estimated cost of $250,000 to the Commonwealth — Say it ain’t so??
We have pledges for mass meetings and canvass’ — now we have it with primaries — Republicans are fine with this.
Until we get party registration, this does the trick. Besides, it only frightens off those that take their pledge seriously, the usual suspects that crash mass meetings and canvass’ have already proved they don’t.
Just to be clear, the form says:
“Statement of Republican Party Affiliation
Virginia does not register voters by political party. Virginia law allows a political party to ask that voters in its Presidential Primary affiliate with that party. My signature below indicates that I am a Republican.”
The form asks for a printed name and signature; email address and phone number are optional.
Most Republicans won’t have a problem signing this, but Independents and unaffiliated voters who typically vote our way won’t sign it. They will vote for Hillary – no harm, no foul in their minds – since it’s a done deal on the Dem side. As many have already stated, the press will have a field day at our expense.
People who vote our way won’t sign it? Then why are we forcing the state to spend all this money asking non-Republicans to select our candidates?
‘Loyalty oath’ rhetoric much? Virginia voters who vote in the primary are either Republicans or Democrats and will choose their ballot accordingly. Any low-info voters who switch over to the Dems because they won’t sign a pledge for the GOP belongs with the Dems. Also ‘cook the books’ is not the insinuendo you are going for.
Sorry but no, they aren’t republicans or democrats or even independents. Under the law they are citizens, who choose a ballot for a primary that is open to all. They aren’t members of the party nor are they affiliates. The RPV can try to force them to be members by having them attest they are republican, but they still aren’t. If the RPV wanted everyone selecting their candidates to be party members, they should have held a convention.
they are doing it because of Trump. This is their way of trying to scare people into not crossing over and voting for him, plain and simple. I have been in Virginia for 10 plus years and do not recall having to do this before. It is offensive and I hope that Trump tells his supporters to make paper airplanes or crumple them up. It has no legal standing.
However, it is an opportunity to better identify the Republican vote.
A better word would be intimidate or suppress. I think they’re shooting for gathering party data at state expense. Not only is it offensive but it’s a poor political move but it makes us look dopey.
I do have issues with the notion of the party forcing the lowly paid poll workers to be our clericals and forcing them to take the brunt of this ill-thought-out policy.
Trump people will say ‘screw that, whatever I have to do to get rid of the constipation’ and will vote right through.
If the party doesn’t listen to the gentle tapping at the door, they will have to pay more attention to the electoral 2×4 between the eyes.
it is indeed a very poor move and the media will run with it exactly as you say, as voter intimidation.
I just think the GOP in Va is having a temper tantrum like the rest of the establishment/elites. They deserve to lose all credibility. I put country before party.
And how are you putting country ahead of party? Letting the GOP continue to be a tool of the elite, establishment, and DEM-lites is not putting the country first — it is doing a disservice to your country by perverting the two-party system.
Finish the fight, take back your party and your country!