No, this isn’t another take on Donald Trump vs. the Establishment or the Tea Party vs. the RINO’s or Batman vs. Aquaman ; however I may do a follow up on that last one. The Republican Party has always been a contentious place, and it’s high time we start embracing it! The wealth and biodiversity of ideas makes for a very interesting and sustainable ecosystem in which natural selection pits good policy vs. bad policy in the ultimate fight for political survival; unlike the bio dome of the Democrat left in which policy needs safe spaces, super delegates and carefully controlled PH levels in the soil to blossom.
We have all made mistakes. Some of us more than others, but we have all made them. The wealth and diversity of political opinion sometimes suffers under the enduring urge of man to betray trust in the name of self-preservation.
On March 10, 2014 a mass meeting of the Republican Party of the 2nd District went down in infamy. Nearly 1,000 conservative activists showed in force to elect Curtis Colgate as their chair. Reeling from defeat in 2 presidential elections, both state senatorial seats turning blue and fresh off an embarrassing loss to carpetbagger Terry Mc Awful, the party brass felt the need to strip the rights from the people in order to ensure the frail hand of establishment rule.
Conventions are a mixed bag. They can bring out the best in activism and prevent money or interparty influence from dominating the leadership. They can also preclude servicemen and women, the poor, the elderly and families with small children from participating in the democratic process. I myself would support conventions in some instances, but when it comes to choosing my governor I would prefer a primary. The party brass disenfranchised 980 2nd District Votes and replaced them with a slate of 32 ‘yes men’ to ensure the kind of convention that nomintated Ken Cuccinelli and EW Jackson (who lost by double digits) would not happen again.
This primary day Scott Taylor has been linked to this debacle in March of 2014. His former campaign consultant Rob Catron has strong ties to Eric Cantor, Frank Wagner and the Delegation that wants to take a carrier to Mayport, FL. Scott Taylor was one of the 32 slate that decided to block Colgate in favor of an establishment chair who favored open primaries. While Scott Taylor has an honorable military background and strong conservative credentials, this episode poisoned the well for many. Not to mention Scott has had some run-ins with the law and seems to love running for office a bit too much; but time will tell.
Randy Forbes is by no means a terrible candidate. He typically scores high ratings among conservative organizations and think tanks. On many issues he has voted in line with what independents and liberals can agree is ethically and morally correct such as onerous bailouts and offshore drilling.
Randy Forbes hasn’t made too many mistakes because he has not attempted nor endeavored to perform legislation or leadership outside of the confines of tried and true party orthodoxy. In short, Randy hasn’t made mistakes because Randy hasn’t done much to write about; as many a politician who has tiptoed through the shallows of the political mainstream with his finger in the air to gauge the direction of the prevailing winds. He does head the Sea Power committee in Congress, and possesses a wealth of experience.
Pat Cardwell is an excellent candidate with an excellent message who has run a horrible campaign. Disclaimer, I really respect his politics and hope he runs again. The role of a citizen legislature is something Jefferson spoke about. But his race for congress has been like putting Mario Andretti in a soapbox car with 2 broken wheels and pushing it off an embankment.
Altogether, I like this slate of candidates and will support the nominee. It saddens me the 2nd district has become a microcosm of our national political environment in which labels like “RINO” and “Wingnut” are thrown around. However, I don’t believe we are yet in the midst of a civil war. Just some necessary skirmishes; soon we will get back to the natural selection process and let time sort it out.