Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Va-05: GOP "Civil War"

There was a potentially explosive development over the weekend in the race to unseat Congressman Perriello. The Fifth District Republican Committee, under the noble and erudite leadership of Tucker Watkins, has decreed that the GOP will hold a primary on June 8th to choose its 2010 standard-bearer. Many of the party activists (and several of the candidates themselves) had supported a convention instead, thereby ensuring broader party support for the eventual nominee. This decision immediately prompted a conservablog meltdown, and has cast doubt on the legitimacy of the whole process. The link above leads to the conservative blog Virginia's Fifth District, and includes several interesting quotes:

If you want to talk about heavy handed actions, what about Watkins refusing to allow filming of the meeting, only after Hurt’s man LaCivita speaks with Tucker after a person starts setting up his camera. and then later throwing out one of the other candidates campaign manager for filming. What did Tucker have to hide?


It is obvious to anybody that Watkins is a spin artist of the first magnitude. Watkins could be the Joseph Goebbels of the 5th district. (My emphasis)

Wow...harsh. Nazi comparisons being turned against their own leaders? The times they are a-changin'. Having said that, throwing out cameramen does sound like something Tucker would do.

Laurence Verga was the first candidate to release a statement. He seems to be trying to position himself as one of the frontrunners among the Tea Party activists. Thus saith the Vergmeister:

“A primary will place an unnecessary burden upon localities, costing them thousands of dollars at a time when their budgets are already overly stretched.

“Based upon the current shape of the field, the primary will likely be won by a candidate with less than 20% of the vote, with Democratic voters potentially deciding the race.

Today only strengthens my resolve to run a vigorous grassroots campaign against the establishment and their preferred candidate, so that I may be able to fight for the conservative principles and values of the citizens of the 5th District in Washington.”

Wow, I actually agree with Laurence Verga about something. He raises a very good point: I doubt many localities budgeted for a June primary when they were trying to figure out how to pay their teachers. Moreover, any GOP nominee is almost certainly doomed to squeaking out a measly plurality and walking into the general election at a huge disadvantage.

I always knew the Fifth District GOP was lacking in some common sense. But they alienate their base at their own peril--Tucker and company are playing with fire.

No comments: