What’s in a party?…..The two recent national conventions reminded me of my experience as a precinct chair in the Fort Bend Republican party.
It is indicative of what most delegates who attend a convention must endure to get there.
Several years ago I decided to become active in the Republican Party because I was concerned that it was being taken over by the Christian Coalition which I soon referred to as the American Taliban after dealing with them for a while.
I had been a Republican for many years. I guess the reason was because my parents and grandparents had been Republican in Texas when being Republican wasn’t cool. I don’t think I had really thought about political parties very much. I knew I was socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I thought Democrats were practically Communists, something I learned at my Daddy’s feet.
Because I was pro choice, I thought I could try to change the party from the inside.
It made sense to me to allow abortions. First, it was the law of the land, and second, I felt most women seeking an abortion did it because they couldn’t take care of the expected child. Allowing an abortion would mean that the State would not have to provide care for an unwanted child who might have to be tax-payer supported all his/her life. I even naively thought the child might grow up to spend its life in prison, another support system at taxpayer expense.
Well, you can imagine the horror with which I was greeted. I had people shouting at me when I spoke, people who were too old or the wrong sex to need an abortion anyway.
When I wrote newspaper columns about Republican elected officials who misbehaved, people like Tom Delay or county commissioners or the county sheriff, my fellow Republicans threw a fit. I pointed out that since most elected officials by that time were Republican, if I wrote about anyone, chances were they would be Republican.
Eventually, one of my fellow Republicans, a man named Don Braley, offered a resolution to censure me. Not only did it censure me, it called for my resignation.
This happened after I supported Democrat Richard Morrison over Tom DeLay as our congressman.
I think some of the Republicans thought I wouldn’t show up for the reading aloud of the resolution at the precinct meeting. Not only did I show up, I spoke and told the group that I had a first amendment right to say and write what I wished and they could not make me resign, only my voters could do that.
But my censure was not only to punish me, it was to warn others in the executive committee (precinct chairs) to not speak up, to toe the religious line.
Although this was in 2005, I’ve heard that atmosphere still exists in the party (and maybe even in all parties) and people keep quiet for fear of public censure.
And lest you think this was so troubling to me that I still remember even the date–wrong! I had to Google it to find when it happened.
I discovered real soon that to change the party, one had to get on a committee.
Since I was denied any legitimacy in the party and couldn’t get on any committee I didn’t run again. I was tired of it.
At the last convention I went to, I was the last delegate chosen. At the end of the day when all the delegates had left and all the alternate delegates had left I got to vote on denying the business franchise tax that someone in our delegation wanted to offer.
And in the Republican Party at the precinct level, each precinct chair and convention attendee receives a group of suggestions for the party platform from the Heritage Foundation. Even if you argue the individual planks of the platform at your precinct level and beat the most ridiculous ones down, several people from other precincts will offer these platform planks at the county convention. That’s how they make it up the ladder to the national party platform. It’s fixed!
How in the world?….I simply can’t understand why everybody in Texas isn’t mad at Governor Rick Perry. Most Texas believe he’s just wonderful. He’s done a thousand things to hurt the state but the latest thing I’m still mad about is the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars he spent on security on his “not a snowball’s chance in Hell” campaign for president. Won’t someone that’s a vote getter run against this fool?
Who’s running the show?…..If you wonder what the Sheriff and his chief deputy are doing since he got skunked in the primary, they haven’t been seen because they are hiding.
The sheriff is dragging around the Democrat candidate for sheriff so he’s not seen at the sheriff’s department.
The chief deputy is hidden away checking voter records to make sure everyone in the sheriff’s department voted. If you didn’t, you may get fired. He can’t tell who you voted for, but he can tell if you voted.
So the answer about who’s running the show? In a word, nobody.
Now’s the time…..Okay, the primaries are over and it’s time to look at all the candidates, both Republican and Democrat.
Back in the old days when there were only Democrats and a few Republicans on the ballot, Fort Bend voters had to study the candidates and vote for the best ones, not just a straight party vote.
The Republicans put up such good candidates that they were elected. That’s how it started. Now they dominate the ballot.
But there are some excellent Democrats on the ballot also. It’s time to look at all candidates, whether they are a particular political party.
Bruce Fleming is one goofy Republican who has called Jacquie Chaumette a “bitch” in front of Dianne Wilson when she was at her precinct and asked him to not cover up Chaumette’s signs. He seems to have some real anger management problems.
The good news is that he is running for Pct. 1 county commissioner, a job currently held ably by Richard Morrison. Morrison is a good commissioner and works hard for his constituents.
Next week: Don’t know now but I still have the commissioners car expenses to analyze. No telling what will come up.