June 3rd, 2008 by Kevin
There were a few responses to my MN GOP Convention Wrapup, and I think there is more that needs to be said on a couple points….and the following points are almost going to guarantee I piss everyone off.
First of all, just because a group is a minority, doesn\’t mean they don\’t have the right to be heard. And while one commenter tried to pass them off as an extremely small minority it\’s clear they weren\’t. Roughly 400-500 people attended Paul\’s rally on Friday morning. That\’s a quarter of the convention delegates. It\’s certainly not that 1.x% that some keep passing them off as.
But really doesn\’t the percentage matter?? No. It\’s not up to any committee or party leader to decide who gets heard. That\’s up to the delegates. For the nominating committee to pre-emptively decide that certain groups should even have a chance to make their case is wrong. For a chairman to exclude someone who has a clear following, no matter how small is wrong and demonstrates bias. That is wrong.
Of course the Ronulans share some blame here as well. As a group they engaged in very caustic behavior early on, which raised the hackles of many Republicans early on. Early on they left the impression as a tinfoil hat crowd intent on a no-prisoners scorched earth approach to politics. Clearly they made no friends up front and the repercussions of that continue to haunt them even today.
Perhaps even more to their disadvantage was the clear inexperience of most of their numbers and clearly their leadership. While I know for a fact that at least some of their numbers have been party members for awhile and are not new to the process, as a group they clearly were. Parliamentary chess is an art form at best, and a mind-numbingly pain in the ass at worst. But knowledge of Robert\’s Rules and parliamentary politics are a pre-requisite for anyone hoping to achieve anything.
That knowledge was not evident amongst most of the Ronulans. More than a few times I quite clearly saw where they were trying to go and what they were trying to accomplish. How to get there was obviously unknown to the Ronulans, but was pretty obvious to many others. I remember several instances where I remarked to the person standing or seated next to me that \”Ohhhh, I think [the Ronulans] got [the chairman] on this one…..\” but predictably the Ronulans would foul up the attempt by insisting instead upon abusing points of order/privilege by grandstanding. Guess what? Points of Order/Privilege don\’t actually accomplish anything…you have to make a motion. And here you just screwed up your chance at the mic with whining instead of progress.
The Ronulans had a heck of a networking system setup, including text messaging like an infinite number of monkeys on a infinite number of phones. But instead of offering up a work of Shakespeare they offered up pointless complaints rather than a substantive motion. Almost depressing really that a sizeable group can reach that leave of cohesion and organization but not be able to accomplish anything.
In the end I think one of my commenters said it best, and I think it can be applied to all sides, and that is the old adage:
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
Here\’s to hoping we wise up before November, although I bet a round of drinks against it.
[Crossposted to True North]