By Lynn R. Mitchell
Welcome to the era of Virginia’s new political establishment – it’s not about electing Republicans, it’s about internal power struggles and glorified arguments over parliamentary procedure. — Brian Schoeneman
The ink was barely dry on Brian Schoeneman’s truthful, well-written piece at Bearing Drift (see SCC shouldn’t let misguided priorities cost us much needed wins) when one of the usual suspects who throws verbal stink bombs all over the place stopped by to lob yet another, proving exactly what Brian had written, and it was quickly followed by another.
The crux of the matter is Saturday’s State Central Committee meeting in Richmond that has members wanting to continue the internal squabbling rather than concentrate on a very important election cycle leading to November:
The Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee is meeting on Saturday for its last regularly scheduled meeting prior to the November 4 election. Unfortunately for a lot of Republicans in Virginia, there is one major thing missing from the agenda at that meeting, and a couple of things on it that shouldn’t be.
As I noted earlier last week, Bob FitzSimmonds’ cynical attempt to cling to power should have been stopped tomorrow by State Central by firing and replacing him. That isn’t going to happen, unfortunately. But what is an even bigger issue is that State Central is going to spend a lot of time arguing over three different appeals of Mass Meetings/Conventions from earlier this year.
The FitzSimmonds sweep-it-under-the-rug attitude is not a surprise from those who now run RPV, as Brian pointed out in an earlier post (see FitzSimmonds “resignation” is a farce).
The appeals arguments have been ongoing for months with appeals on top of appeals. Here’s a novel idea for those who are on State Central Committee: forget that and let’s work for our candidates. Stop hammering the wedge deeper while dividing grassroots volunteers, act like you were elected to do, and show solidarity with our candidates. As Brian notes, “In 2006, appeals from the 10th District as well as from the 3rd District were delayed until after the election to keep attention focused on the Senate race.” He adds:
I am tired of the constant internal party bickering. Not only is it unseemly to watch grown men and women running around screaming “he’s a Democrat!” at everybody in a meeting they don’t recognize, it’s no way to grow a party that is in desperate need of bringing in new members and persuading those in the center who agree with us on many issues to cast their ballots for our candidates. Nor is the middle of an election season the proper time to be dealing with these types of issues. We can start these discussions in December, and give the party and the grassroots time to win a big victory that will (hopefully) help heal some of the self-inflicted wounds from 2014.
State Central has a choice – they can be statesmen and women and do the right thing, or they can continue playing games and making 2014 stick out as one of the most farcical years in Virginia Republican political history.
I wish I was more confident that they’d get it right.
I concur with Brian’s reasonable assessment of the situation. Many in the party are tired of the games that have been played the past several years. If SCC members cannot see the importance in this situation, they need to be replaced by responsible leaders who will step to the plate to lead the party. Saturday’s meeting will tell the tale. Stay tuned….