Political Animal


May 17, 2012 4:04 PM Bypassing the Base

By Ed Kilgore

It seems Team Romney’s only problem with “the base” isn’t simply that billionaires and greedy operatives are discussing options for plunging the general election into a gotterdamerung of racially charged attack ads. There’s also this little matter of some of the state and local Republican Party organizations they usually rely on as a conduit for national GOTV dollars getting taking over by The Revolution. Check out this report from Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun:

Fed up with an inept and self-destructive GOP apparatus in Nevada, the Republican National Committee and the Mitt Romney campaign have decided to erect a “shadow state party” in this critical swing state, sources confirmed today…
The lack of faith in the Republican Party here intensified with the botched February caucus, metastasized after the Ron Paul takeover in Sparks and reached its zenith with Tuesday evening’s call for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to resign by a divided Clark County GOP….
Even soon-to-be-former RNC Committeeman Bob List called the state GOP “dysfunctional” during an appearance today on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” although the former governor also blamed the Romney campaign for resting on its caucus win laurels and allowing the Paul revolution to occur…
This move has been inevitable and essential for some time for the RNC and Team Romney to combat a formidable Democratic machine. They won’t be able to do everything the Democrats can do, but separating themselves from the imploding and embarrassing party structure is a good first step.

A similar scenario has been unfolding in another battleground state, Iowa, where Paulites took over the state party apparatus even before they conquered Iowa’s delegation to the national convention.

If the presidential election turns out to be as close as appears likely right now, this is the sort of stuff that could matter more than you might imagine.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Ronald on May 17, 2012 4:18 PM:

    So the rights of the States to pick their own political strutures is getting usurped by 'Washington Insiders' who are going to take over the state structure 'for the good of the party'.

    This should be very fun to watch.

    Pass the popcorn. :D

  • stevio on May 17, 2012 4:25 PM:

    They'll throw the friggin kitchen sink against Obama. Bet on it. Bottom line is: If these voters (or a majority of them) want RoMONEY, they can have him.

    They'll go from marginally poor to destitute and watch the 99% become 99.9%. We've been third-world since the 80's blue collar recession anyway...

  • Peter C on May 17, 2012 4:25 PM:

    Can Romney put Humpty Dumpty back together again?

    The Republicans are an amalgam of Religious Zealots, Radical Libertarians, and the 1% (who plays the other two for fools). The zealots are unenthused, the Libertarians are bitter, and the 1% are going rouge. The coalition is cracking ...

  • TCinLA on May 17, 2012 4:34 PM:

    They're not "Paulites," they're Paulies - that puts their "intellectual" level accurately.

  • Area Man on May 17, 2012 4:40 PM:

    Gotta love the Party of Personal Responsibility, the Grown-Ups, the well-dressed and sophisticated adults in the room...

    ...who apparently cannot run a simple organization without screwing it up royally.

    See also: MN GOP.

  • Ron Byers on May 17, 2012 4:42 PM:

    Political parties are struggling these days. Lots of state parties are dysfunctional. It is a combination of the effects of Citizens United and the desire of a lot of people who don't live in DC to have a voice.

    We don't hear much about the Democratic party's problems, but they also exist none-the-less

  • boatboy_srq on May 17, 2012 4:50 PM:

    [T]he former governor also blamed the Romney campaign for resting on its caucus win laurels

    That statement just jumped out at me. Romney's campaign strategy, with this incident in mind, strikes me as about as 1%er as you can get.

  • Steve M. on May 17, 2012 4:52 PM:

    Wow. Are we going to see official state GOPs not endorsing the GOP nominee? Will they endorse Gary Johnson? Or maybe the Constitution Party guy?

  • RT on May 17, 2012 5:11 PM:

    Between the Paulistas and the Tea Party, I'd say the GOP has at least two "bases".

  • T2 on May 17, 2012 5:23 PM:

    This kinda reminds me of the Frankenstein story. Mad Scientist (Koch Bros) get Supreme Court to fund an experiment (Citizens United) and create a monster (Tea Party) in order to rule the world. Monster is created, but wants to do some other things than the Mad Scientist had in mind. Mad Scientists then have to use the funds to try to kill the Monster, and the Monster turns on Mad Scientists, realizing that the Mad Scientists only wanted to USE the Monster for their own purposes. Result: problems for all.
    Moral of the story: if you aren't sure you can control the monster, don't build one.

  • c u n d gulag on May 17, 2012 5:53 PM:

    This couldn't happen to a nicer Animatronic Cyborg.

    His Animatronic Cyborg of a wife.

    His 5 Animatronic Cyborg children.

    And his all too human handlers.

  • kitsune on May 17, 2012 7:05 PM:

    This is just one of the reasons Obama is going to cream RMoney in the fall. Obama, that former community organizer, understands the importance of organizing. His campaign has a real and active ground game all over the country. RMoney on the other hand had a hard time putting away his opponents who literally did not even have field offices let alone any sort of GOTV operation. How pathetic is that?

    See, RMoney believes corporations are people my friend, but they can't knock on doors, canvass or help corporal people get to the polls. Obama's team does all of that, and they have their supporter lists from 2008 that they've been building on. Santorum didn't even have supporters list to sell to RMoney at the end of his campaign!

    No ground game = no chance. Obama>Romney