May 27, 2008
Sen. Hillary Clinton's latest gaffe, bringing up the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968 as a reason for her to stay in the race, is hard to decipher. Did she mean to suggest that Barack Obama might be assassinated once he is assured of being nominated? Probably not. Most likely, it was an awkward reference to the fact that, historically, primary campaigns have extended well into the summer, and there is no reason why that shouldn't be the case this year. Likewise, she probably did not mean to suggest that he might be a Muslim. But the lingering shadows of doubt that she keeps spreading -- whether intentionally or out of desperation -- are having a corrosive effect on Democratic Party unity. That is why Rush Limbaugh's claiming success in "Operation Chaos" is not as far-fetched as you might think.
On a more serious note, Hillary's off-hand comment to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader's editorial board does illustrate one of the pitfalls of politics in our hyper-PC era: the often-ineffable nature of political discourse. In personal life and in political life, there are some extremely sensitive things that simply cannot be said openly, for once the speaker has uttered the words, the meaning is altered by the way the listener interprets them, and the words have the opposite effect to what the speaker intended.
In Sunday's News Leader:
It appears that after five years of being an active member of the Augusta County Republican Committee, the newly elected committee has determined I am no longer a Augusta County Republican as they see fit. Selected Chairman Kurt Michael held a ACRC meeting this week to elect and position a new executive committee of the Augusta County Republican Committee.
Kurt Michael advises that the meeting was announced 10 days in advance as compared to the seven-day notice required by the committees bylaws.
During my five plus years as a member of the ACRC I have always been notified by mail of all upcoming ACRC meetings as required by the same bylaws.
Like many other Augusta Republicans, no meeting notifications were received this time.
Turns out Kurt Michael only acknowledged and informed the 59 people that signed up and remained at his second meeting Kurt Michael held after the announced and original ACRC mass meeting.
This in itself shows that Kurt Michael and his select few do not acknowledge or recognize the majority of Augusta County Republicans, including myself, who voted instead for Dr. Roller for chairman. And what about the 44 people who did vote for Kurt Michael, but also left after the first meeting? Are they recognized by the new ACRC leadership?
After a contested mass meeting last month that Michael claims was not closed properly, the Republican 6th District committee selected Michael as the chairman they recognize, thus ignoring the majority of the voters at the mass meeting.
When given a clear choice between candidates, and before any noted problems with how the meeting was closed, the voters at the mass meeting chose Dr. Roller over Michael by a vote of 141 to 103.
Interestingly, the Democratic National party faces this same "Super Delegate" situation where a "Party member" can overrule or disregard the majority vote of the voters with their "Super Vote".
Both Kurt Michael and vice-chairperson of communications Lynn Mitchell have publicly called for unity within the party but have done little to promote such unity. This is just another example of their "Party Unity."
STEVE KIJAK Stuarts Draft
Indeed. Well said, Steve. Kurt's secret call for a meeting, leaving out dozens of people who participated in good faith in the Augusta County Republican mass meeting, notwithstanding the ongoing dispute over the leadership, erases any doubt over his intentions to pursue the "pup tent" or "phone booth" approach. The people in that faction of the party are hell-bent on shoving out of the party anyone who doesn't agree with them, and membership will inevitably decline as long as he is in charge -- formally or behind the scenes. Indeed, those folks spend so much of their time attacking other Republicans (while complaining that they themselves are under constant, unfair attack!) that it is a wonder they have any energy left over to take on the Democrats.