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As a service center for grassroots activists, FreedomWorks exists to empower limited government conservatives inside and outside of the party structure. We've been documenting and reporting on the RNC's power grab since last August. Last week I reported on the RNC's Spring meeting and the continuing fight against the newly adopted rules.
After Friday's vote, we believed we had won a slight victory in the amendment to rule 16 (a) (2) with a unanimous vote. After further review of the amended rule, there was no real substanative change made and it was nothing more than smoke and mirrors to distract from the RNC's continued attempt to centralize power with the party bosses.
The changes not only removed the right for a delegate to change their mind at the convention, it also removed any opportunity for a delegate to sign a petition in support of any candidate other than their pledged candidate.
The language in this rule change removes virtually any power that a delegate would have to support a lesser known, or unordained candidate. This ostensibly makes delegates DINOs (delegates in name only.) This is fitting actually. If the RNC continues tactics such as these, they too will go the way of the Dinosaurs and become extinct.
Consider this; had rules such as this been in place, candidates like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan would have never worked their way through the ranks and become a uniting force for the fiscal conservative movement. In 1976 Reagan was beat for the nomination on the floor at the convention. Realizing the need for renewed energy in the party, a more transparent process allowed for Reagan to become the party's nominee in 1980.
Fast forward to 2008 - the GOP was on life support. The blue wave of progressivism had taken the country by storm and the Republican party was drowning under the weight of poor candidates, inconsistent principles, a misguided allegiance to the consultant class and the failure to give the electorate a clear choice between the two parties.
They begged for help, unity and an energizing force to revitalize the party. Grassroots conservatives, Tea Party activists and limited government Republicans united in a principled mission to take back their party and win elections...and we delivered in 2010!
In 2012 only the liberty wing of the party made significant electoral gains and they made those gains in spite of the GOP, not because of them. Their attempts now to silence the new blood that has literally kept them alive will lead to fewer principled candidates, dwindling Republican influence, and increased party atrophy. Attempting to silence the voices of these activists is not only cowardly, it is counterintuitive to the very principles they claim to believe in.