The current spiraling down of the Republican Party in Virginia began seven years ago in pockets throughout the state. A number of those who had been purged from GOP committees raised red flags of warning, mostly to no avail. The downward spiral continued including taking over the majority of State Central Committee who changed the already-decided primary to a closed convention. That calculated move squeezed out Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling who was expected to be the next governor of Virginia, and then put in candidates who lost because they were considered too uber-conservative for the general electorate.
Three years ago some district committees were overtaken with faces never seen before, taking over leadership positions and national convention slots. Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s 6th District Convention was so hostile he would not have won if it had been a vote for his re-election (he had chosen a primary that he easily won). Internal battles have continued with legal challenges and blatant disregard for the rule of law by those now in charge — the Russ Moulton-Cuccinelli “Conservative Fellowship” clique.
The quote, “First they came for ….,” has stood out to me for a while as an example of what could happen in the Virginia GOP … and now it has. Here is my version:
First they came for the volunteers, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a volunteer.
Then they came for the activists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not an activist.
Then they came for grassroots leaders, but I did not speak out —
Because I was not a grassroots leader.
Then they decided to change the rules, but I did not speak out —
Because the rule changes did not affect me.
Then they came for the elected officials — and there was no one left to speak for me.