Republican Party To Tighten Up its Primary Process

In a move that grassroots activists from the Ron Paul world were warning me about since the Tampa convention in 2012 when the Party decided that states would have to allocate delegates based on popular vote and give winning candidates veto power over specific delegates, the Republican Party is trying to tighten up its primary process in ways intended (in some respects at least) to make sure no one can muck up the official narrative.

As CNN reports:

A handful of Republican Party officials is quietly advancing a new batch of rules aimed at streamlining a chaotic presidential nominating process that many party insiders viewed as damaging to the their campaign for the White House in 2012....

In a series of closed-door meetings since August, handpicked members of the Republican National Committee have been meeting with party Chairman Reince Priebus in Washington to hash out details of a sweeping plan to condense the nominating calendar, severely punish primary and caucus states that upend the agreed-upon voting order and potentially move the party's national convention to earlier in the summer....

It has been an insider's gambit, designed to limit the chance for the non-anointed "front runner" to stand out:

The 17-member special rules subcommittee tasked with reforming the nominating process, appointed with little fanfare at the RNC's summer meeting in Boston....

Priebus and other top party figures have made no secret of their desire to scale back the number of debates, which offered little-known candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain a chance to shine but forced Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee, to publicly stake out a number of conservative positions that came back to haunt him in the general election.

One proposal being weighed by the RNC members would involve sanctioning a small handful of debates while penalizing candidates who participate in any nonsanctioned GOP debate by stripping them of one-third of their delegates to the national convention.

The official line is that all factions of the party are represented in this committee. Some of the other proposed changes do promise to at least slow down complete victory for front-runners (UPDATE: or, as commenter CE points out, possibly hobble any non-establishment candidate who catches fire in Iowa and New Hampshire before the anointed win the big states):

-- Any state holding a primary or caucus during the first two weeks of March must award its delegates proportionally, rather than winner-take-all.

The measure is designed to prevent a candidate from catching fire in the early states and then riding a burst of momentum to winner-take-all victories in expensive, delegate-rich states such as Florida or Texas. The early March window would give underfunded, insurgent candidates a chance to prove their mettle.

"It will allow a grassroots candidate to stay in the race and try to raise money and score some wins," said Smack. "If they can't score wins by that time, they probably need to pack it in and try again four years later."

-- States holding a contest after March 15 can decide to award their delegates however they see fit.

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  • Sevo||

    Entirely too many new faces in the GOP! We need to reward those with long service!
    How about McCain for President? Does that ring any bells?

  • Spiny Norman||

    Bob Dole: An Upstanding Choice

  • Restoras||

    Stupid Party strikes again! Is there a Republican Elephant graphic with a dunce cap instead?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The devastating airing of dirty laundry during the primaries has got to stop. Give me the pre-approved, safe and steadfast establishment candidate any day. Stay the course, GOP.

  • ||

    The devastating airing of dirty laundry during the primaries has got to stop

    Right, which is why the Stupid Party is doing this. If you're a party hell bent on securing defeat, wouldn't you rather save all the juicy scandals for the Democrats? Ya know, people who really know how to bring down a candidate.

  • Juice||

    Will the party primaries still be publicly funded?

  • Robert||

    Depends on state law.

  • CE||

    ...the Party decided that states would have to allocate delegates based on popular vote and give winning candidates veto power over specific delegates...

    Back in the old days, the purpose of electing delegates was to select a candidate. Now, apparently, you elect a candidate so he can pick his delegates....

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Back in the old days, the purpose of electing delegates was to select a candidate. Now, apparently, you elect a candidate so he can pick his delegates....

    Are you huffing stupid glue today? The delegates that you were technically voting for have always been selected by the candidates they're associated with on the ballot.

    What this is designed to prevent is chicanery from going on at intermediate delegate selection processes. And yes, I'd call attempting to reverse a fair and free election chicanery, call me a statist if you like.

  • CE||

    ...a new batch of rules aimed at streamlining a chaotic presidential nominating process that many party insiders viewed as damaging to the their campaign for the White House in 2012....

    I see CNN reposts the marketing fluff pretty much directly from the source. Who wouldn't want to "streamline" a "chaotic" process?

    The Republican insiders were right in a way, though: their gross and outlandish mistreatment of the pro-liberty faction did damage their presidential campaign in 2012, by turning off thousands of new Republican voters.

  • BSubversive.com||

    Well that and I dunno, nominating the guy who gave MA the gift of Romneycare when anybody with half a brain was pissed as hell about the same thing being rammed down our throats by Obama.

    For me it was the first time since I began to vote that I didn't vote for their nominee... I held my nose and pulled the lever for McStain, Bush, Dole, Bush but no more. I'll probably stay a registered Republican but only so I can vote in the primaries, not that the PA primary even matters much in presidential races given when it falls on the calendar.

    My conservative family is still whining about tossing my useless vote away on Johnson because he couldn't possibly actually win. Whatever. I'm done voting for the less slimy pile of shit, from now on if given a choice, I'll happily vote FOR somebody rather than against the other team.

  • CE||

    Some of the other proposed changes do promise to at least slow down complete victory for front-runners:

    -- Any state holding a primary or caucus during the first two weeks of March must award its delegates proportionally, rather than winner-take-all.

    Wrong. This rule is to prevent an unapproved candidate like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz from winning a few early states like New Hampshire and Iowa and being portrayed by the media as a legitimate front-runner, before the approved candidates can safely win the big states.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Interesting point. I crammed it into the post w/credit to you.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sickening. I'd vote for either of those in the general, though Rand is a significantly better candidate for libertarians in my opinion and would get my primary vote.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Since Romney, establishment candidate #1 according to this narrative, won both IA* and NH in 2012 that's going to be kind of hard to back up with evidence. Iowa in particular is a money and time dump, as proved in both 2012 and 2000.

    * yes I know Santorum won in the recount, but at the time it was believed that Romney won.

  • John C. Randolph||

  • Joshua R. Poulson||

    RNC keeps calling for money and I keep saying I will never send any more money to the national party until it apologizes for its treatment of Ron Paul and his delegates. I guess they'll never learn.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Yeah, I get those calls too. I always tell them that I will contribute to individual candidates who uphold the constitution, but Boehner, McConnell and the RNC can go fuck themselves. Not sure why they still bother to call.

    -jcr

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    One proposal being weighed by the RNC members would involve sanctioning a small handful of debates while penalizing candidates who participate in any nonsanctioned GOP debate by stripping them of one-third of their delegates to the national convention.

    Note the word "proposal". If that passes I'll eat Chris Christie's shorts. Conservatives would tear and father Preibus if he did this to favor Romney types.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    In a move that grassroots activists from the Ron Paul world were warning me about since the Tampa convention in 2012 when the Party decided that states would have to allocate delegates based on popular vote

    OMIGOD it's like DEMOCRACY or something. It must be stopped.

    Maybe Ron Paul supporters should have focused on winning elections? I mean, that is what you have to do in a democratic system, correct?

  • Robert||

    Nobody has presented anywhere close to a conincing case that another nominee would've done significantly better vs. Obama. I don't think any of the other top 20 contenders would've done worse, either. The people who voted for Obama would've voted for him regardless of his opponent, and the people who voted for Romney would've voted for whoever the Republicans nominated. It was Obama vs. not-Obama, period.

    As to whether the current GOP leadership is trying to entrench itself, big shit. The leadership of every political party tries to do that at every level. It's to be expected, and if they don't, it's a sign they've become discouraged about politics. Anyway, they got to where they are by the same means anyone else can get to where they are too, if they have the support.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Yep, last time around when Mitt the shit decided to turn the RNC into a Supreme Soviet, I said that the party could either quit trying to exercise top-down control, or go the way of the Whigs.

    I'd love to see Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Mike Lee, and Thomas Massie run as independents. The Boehners and Romneys of the world don't deserve one goddamned bit of help.

    -jcr

  • Azathoth!!||

    I'd love to see Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Mike Lee, and Thomas Massie back in private life by having them run as independents. Because everyone knows how successful cabdidates who run as independents are.

    Retuned that to reality for you.

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