The national Republican Party has made a series of decisions this week that has lead to a renewed call for the establishment of a viable third party. Constitutional Conservatives, Conservative Populists, and Libertarians are frustrated by how they are being shut out of the political process at the national level.
In a story that has received very little attention in the national media that tends to take its marching order from the well-funded major parties, the Republican National Committee has spent much of this past week trying to unseat duly elected delegates to the national convention because they are supporters of Congressman Ron Paul. The final blow came yesterday when the RNC, unable to get the Maine delegation to comply with a series of so-called compromises, simply decided to nullify the entire Maine delegation and replace them with their own hand-picked delegates. In effect, the Republican National Committee has said that Maine does not exist. In response to this perceived abuse of power, Republican Governor Paul LePage from Maine quickly made a statement that he will follow through with his promise to boycott the National Convention because he believes his citizens are being disenfranchised.
Later in the day, the RNC passed a new rule, giving itself power to change any rule without a delegate vote. Grass roots Republicans have reacted by calling this a power-grab designed to stifle dissent. They believe the GOP is consolidating power in an attempt to override grass roots intentions that may run counter to their top-down agenda. Grass roots activists believe Governor Romney is either behind this top down assault or he is a perpetrator by omission. In either scenario, many are seeing this as a harbinger of what would come if the Governor were elected President of the United States. On the surface it looks like a management style that would be a threat to representative democracy.
These decisions came on the heels of another decision apparently made to ensure that supporters of Congressman Paul are not heard at the convention, at least not while the national television cameras are rolling. The nomination roll call vote has been moved up to Monday morning instead of Wednesday as had been originally scheduled. The RNC apparently is afraid that some supporters of Congressman Paul will use the roll call opportunity to express admiration for him instead of Governor Romney.
These decisions appear to be motivated by a national GOP that is desperate to create the illusion that there is uniform popular support for Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Unfortunately for the GOP, there are serious divisions within the party writ large that are brewing beneath the surface. Those divisions have become more visible as the GOP has disenfranchised a growing segment of the Conservative Movement, the liberty voters who identify with Congressman Ron Paul. Instead of trying to find a way to assimilate their ideas and absorb their energies, the national GOP has instead closed ranks and consolidated power.
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