First, I’ve never been a big fan of the Republican National Committee. To me, and surely many other conservatives, it’s always been a point-of-entry for parasites seeking to leech off of any benefits associated with the (R) next to one’s name. Most of those benefits are in place thanks to the hard work over the years by conservative figures such as Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Jesse Helms as well as millions of grassroots activists slaving away across the country in virtual anonymity.
Ditto for the NCGOP. For most of his career, senator Helms had his own political operation that regularly bypassed the state party.
Reagan and Goldwater were also such big personalities that they had their own sizable followings independent of the Republican establishment.
Friday’s final tally for Republican National Committee chairman was a pure disaster. Like the NCGOP, the national party’s power structure is stacked with people who love being Republican but hate the, um, “stink” of conservatism.
On the first ballot, Ronna Romney won with 111 votes to 50 for Harmeet Dhillon. Mike Lindell got 4 votes and Lee Zeldin got 1.
Considering all of the back-stabbing, deceit, and poor strategizing the Romney family has inflicted upon conservatives and our most recent president in recent years, it’s amazing that Miss Ronna got rewarded with two more years at the trough. (Uncle Mitt worked hard against the reelection of his Utah colleague Mike Lee (R) in 2022.) It’s certainly a strong hint from the GOPe about how little they think of us.
The vice-chairman (or co-chairman) race was much more interesting, and should have really given the Raleigh crowd something to think about. Our very own Michael Whatley faced off against the SC state chairman and the Indiana state chairman. Whatley, to put it diplomatically, is best described as a footnote or an “also-ran” in this particular competition. After the first round of voting, Whatley had 52 votes to 63 for South Carolina’s McKissick, the eventual winner.
After the second round, the tally was 69 for McKissick, 52 for Indiana’s Hupfer, and 48 for Whatley. Our boy lost 4 votes between the first and second rounds.
For the third ballot, Whatley pulled off a face-saving move and dropped out. South Carolina’s Drew McKissick ended up winning the #2 spot.
It’s an interesting result. Whatley and his team in Raleigh fell all over themselves to placate Miss Ronna during his time as state chairman. Romney’s winning total of 111, to Whatley’s high-water mark of 52 votes, would seem to indicate that Team Ronna did not scratch Whatley’s back as much as he scratched hers. No coattails there.
One has to wonder- given the election result – if Whatley will continue to fawn over Miss Ronna during the remainder of his current term or in any future terms as chairman. So far, the fawning hasn’t paid off with any dividends.
It’s going to be interesting to see what opposition to Whatley emerges in-state now. I think a lot of folks were waiting to see what happened this weekend in California. Whatley — like many of his predecessors — has done more water-carrying for the NCGOPe than actually leading the party. He’s cheerleader for wildly unpopular legislative leaders and run interference for the wildly unpopular Thom Tillis.
Today’s results indicate that Whatley doesn’t have the mojo with the national party he has always claimed to have. Some in the establishment might smell blood in the water and take him on.
No serious conservative opposition has arisen to challenge for the chairmanship. Right now, the only conservative leader with the stature to pull it off is Lee County’s Jim Womack. After two unsuccessful runs for chairman, and a whole lot of abuse from the party establishment, I doubt he has the fire in his belly for a third run.
The usual suspects in Raleigh will once again seek to stomp the life out of anyone seeking to upset the apple-cart. There are too many people making money off their party positions to allow things to change.
We thought we had a victory with the election of Hassan Harnett and Michele Nix a few years back. Harnett was an outsider and Nix was sold to us as a grassroots hell-raiser. NCGOPe types abused Harnett and ran him out of town. Nix warmly embraced the establishment, and the dream was officially over.
Conservatives have two choices. They can continue as-is and keep groaning about corruption and duplicity among the Raleigh crowd. Or they can make a serious effort to take over the party. A serious takeover involves more than the chairman and vice chairman races. RINOs need to be knocked out of offices at the local and regional levels to make reform in Raleigh work. Changes at the local and regional level can have a positive effect on the mess in Raleigh.
Changing the NCGOP will be serious, hard work. Many of us have to decide if the state’s Grand Ol’ Party is really all that “grand,” or even worth saving.