On Saturday morning, newly-converted Republican Parker Griffith did the unthinkable: he attended the Madison County Republican Men's Club breakfast
. This move was unexpected for a number of reasons, foremost of which was the presumption that Griffith did not have the guts to face laymen Republicans, the thinking being that he'd be run out of their meetings after being tarred and feathered. But alas, Griffith wasn't run out of the breakfast. He did sit on the left-most side of the room (irony in it's own right) and was avoided by most, but he wasn't cast out like the contagious leper he is. Why, there isn't even any outrage over $500 to host
fundraisers scheduled for Griffith.The Analogy
The analogy I've heard regarding Griffith's switch is that of an army capturing a an opposing officer that wants to defect. The army that the defector wants to join would be within protocol to allow the defection but they would be delusional to allow the officer to retain his rank. Wisdom would be to make the defector a closely watched private and see how he performs in his new duties before being promoted to a position of power.
In its delusion, the Republican Party is allowing Griffith, a defector, to maintain his rank as Congressman. If Griffith were truly principled and felt that he had to leave the Democrat party, he would have resigned and let the spineless Republican governor appoint someone to the position, most likely a Republican. Policy has been dictated to the voters of AL 5 from those in Washington. Calls have been made at the behest of our senators urging people to only donate to Griffith. The Strategy and Its Flaw
Numerous times we've heard that the strategy in Washington is to flip as many Democrats as possible which provides only short-term benefits. Sure, healthcare and other Obama agenda items might be blocked on final passage in the House, but what happens in November? In November, these Democrats that have been playing Republicans will go back to being the Democrats they were first elected as guaranteeing a Congress full of RINOs indefinitely. This is, as Glenn Beck put it in Arguing with Idiots Socialism vs. Socialism Lite
. If the RNC and the NRCC back these DIABLOs, the end result in heavy Constitutionally-minded districts ( i.e. AL 5) will be that RINOs will reign for decades to come.
The argument has been made that if Griffith is elected in June (because let's face it: whoever wins the Republican primary in AL 5 is going to win the seat in November) he will be owned by the Republican Party much like Richard Shelby. That argument is easily counted by pointing out that Shelby goes off the reservation more than he should as an alleged Constitutional Republican. Also to be considered in that calculation is the reason Shelby has no primary opposition–much less opposition in the general election–is that the Republican establishment has built up his war chest to the point that the only way anyone can win the seat is for Shelby to either give up the ghost or resign.Missing Entity
The missing entity in this whole story are the voters of AL 5. We know what Sessions, Shelby, Bonner, Aderholt and Mike Hubbard think, but there is a lack of interest in reporting what the voters think and feel.
We know that Democrats that fundraised and voted for opportunistic Parker Griffith want their money back
and want to make sure this guy doesn't get re-elected. Dale Jackson spoke for Constitutionalists
when Griffith announced his switch, and followed up with a Q & A
that nicely summarizes the situation. The Huntsville Tea Party weighed in
on the switch as well. And as much as I've been flogging my take
on the issue, my stance should be pretty well know right now.At Fault
So who's fault is it that Griffith hasn't been made toxic? I put the blame on the shoulders of those who had the opportunity to do something about it and didn't: Congressional candidate Les Phillip
, Congressional candidate Mo Brooks
, and The Huntsville Tea Party
I blame both Phillip and Brooks for not making Parker toxic because of campaign tunnel vision. Since there were now three people in the primary, the dynamics of the race changed. In a two person race, mudslinging is effective because at the end of the day, the winner of the vote is usually the guy with less mud on his person, but in a three party race, mudslinging only helps the silent party. Ergo, if Les attacked Griffith and Mo stayed silent, Mo's poll numbers should have went up while Phillip's and Griffith's numbers stayed steady or dipped. So this became a game of political chicken between Mo and Les which ultimately led to Griffith not being toxic.
I specifically blame Phillip for foregoing the opportunity to once again publicly call for Griffith's resignation at the Men's breakfast. This was not the event to be found MIA.
I blame the Quotable Morris Brooks, Attorney at Law
for not capitalizing on that opportunity too. If Mo Brooks is supposed to be the candidate with a proven track record, his record must be that of non-effectual appointment-only service. As an office holder, Mo must be held to a higher standard, and that Brooks would put his campaign ahead of the voters of AL 5. Even if it might have cost him the election to do so, Mo should not have given Griffith rest or safe harbor, especially when there was another strong Congressional candidate to get behind and support should the campaign suffer from telling the truth.
And for the record, I don't want to hear about how Wayne Parker (affectionately know here as Peanut or Peanut Parker) is the knight on the white horse coming to save AL 5 from her woes and foes. Peanut lost this race three times already; the fourth time is NOT
I blame the Huntsville Tea Party for being an organization where the members can singly do nothing, but decide together that nothing can be done. The decision to not attack Parker Griffith because people might take pity on him is absurd. By choosing to stay out of the fight all together, including not supporting denying Griffith ballot access (more on that in a minute) and not endorsing candidates is exactly the kind of behavior that got us to the point we're at now.
The Huntsville Tea Party reminds me of the Parable of the Talents
. Because the servant who was given one talent buried it in the ground instead of attempting to invest it to make a profit, the master commanded:
cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
There is no room for timidness in politics. In politics, you make a decision and you stick with it and deal with the consequences as they come. But you don't decide to do nothing. Doing nothing is not a sign of leadership. It is a sign of weakness, indecisiveness and cowardice. The only place for indecisiveness in politics is to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men.
If inaction is not a solution and if playing political chicken with primary opposition isn't a solution, what is?
I think that the solution is to submit and get the bodies to unanimously pass resolutions county by county denying Griffith ballot access like the one drafted here: