It’s been a while.
Two score and two years ago Ronald Reagan brought forth in this State a new Party, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all Republicans are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that Party, or any Party, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
Those are the stakes in Moses Lake. In the town, I mean, named after the Lake.
Moses Lake is three hours from Seattle, less than two from Spokane, near the “middle.” Tomorrow morning the Rules, Credentials, and Platform committees meet there in preparation for the Washington State Republican Convention. And while the struggle for the heart and soul of the Party in 1980 was about Platform and by 1988 had shifted to Rules, in 2012 it is more than clear that the Convention will swivel, as (I believe) will the Party’s direction, on the Credentials Committee’s handling of the Challenges before it.
A “Challenge” is the formal claim that a delegate or delegates purportedly elected to the State Convention was placed on the rolls illegally. The Committee in Moses Lake will adjudicate more than 60 such claims. SEVENTEEN OF THEM could throw out all or most of an entire delegation, everyone from a Legislative or Councilmanic district or an entire County.
This has never happened before.
I mean on this scale… the occurrence of this many allegations this huge has never happened before. But it is not a surprise. We know exactly why. We told you 3 years ago.
“In 2008, the RNC/Campaign Team of John McCain acquired the dubious distinction of having broken almost every egg left in the Grand Old Party basket without making anything close to an omelet.
Securing the nomination for a man that a relatively small minority liked at all, and large pluralities disliked enthusiastically, required that a tiny top Party elite bend, fold, spindle and mutilate virtually every rule and ethic that held the Party together, as well as strong-arming countless subservient officials and staff to “follow orders” in a parade of blatant infractions that might have made Lyndon Johnson or Richard “Boss” Daley blush back in the sixties…
To years ago
…The rules, the procedures and the leadership structures of the Party from top to bottom look like a demolition site, walls crumbling, pillars akimbo.
In January, 2011, the first consequence of that impending collapse was the demise of the political career of Rob McKenna operative Luke Esser, replaced by Kirby Wilbur as State Party Chair. Many hoped that Kirby, longtime Party luminary, Seattle area talk radio host and sometime convention chair, would be a reformer.
More than anything else, his legacy is now on trial in Moses Lake.
Kirby agrees with you on significant concerns. I guarantee it. Just talk with him and you’ll see what I mean. Privately, I mean. The night before his election as Esser’s successor, Mr. Wilbur even telegraphed his agreement with the Reagan Wing… on Party reform. Those who have approached Kirby privately as GOP cheating resumed, full force, in the 2012 election cycle have been assured that he looks at things just the same as they do. As have, I am now certain, the other side, the cheaters.
Moses Lake will tell the tale.
The results have already been telegraphed by Kirby’s office. Kirby has taken control of the Credentials Committee. Process is being dictated to the committee, rules imposed, decisions over which the Committee has authority being preemptively made for them by Kirby Wilbur.
Will Kirby Wilbur continue, despite his overtures to the contrary in private, to operate in the interests of the most corrupt officials in the Party, endorsing and helping cover up their corruption, or will he, sensing the exposure to the light of his acts, become the reformer he could have been?
Moses Lake will tell the tale.