Republican Resolutions

The Republican Convention ran…just a bit long.  Despite the fact that the food vendors were only scheduled to remain available until 3pm, the first ballot votes for Chairman weren’t cast until about then.  By the time the quorum was lost we were staring down 7pm and a lot of empty vending machines.  That, frankly, is no way to debate what is intended to be the beliefs and statements of the party.

Later today, (now posted below this thread) we’ll post each resolution on a separate thread.  You’ll notice that most are relatively long, and contain…we’ll just call it complex language.  And yet, it was the position of the party that these should be voted on without the delegates receiving copies in advance, and only having them available on large screens for a few moments before each was likely to be uniformly adopted by a tired and hungry assembly.

This is no way to adopt policy positions from a party that wants each of its elected officials to pledge not to vote on something they haven’t read in its entirety, or that haven’t been available to the public for 72 hours.

My understanding is that the state executive committee will be taking these up at a later date.  It is my hope that each of the resolutions will get a better vetting and more vigorous debate here than would have ever happened had the convention been allowed to continue to adopt these.

While our commenting community runs the partisan gambit, I’d ask that you Democrats that like to pile on quickly when we do partisan stuff to hold back.   There needs to be some honest debate within our party on some of these, and I’d like this to be a forum where that can happen.

47 comments

  1. Ghost of William F Buckley says:

    Look at my comments from the lens of a lifelong GOP voter. Now a reluctant Republican, I vote for the Red team because I know the Blue team is philosophically much worse, at least, for me.

    I am a person that has ‘bootstrapped’ his way to financial success for his family, self-paid and self-made. I believe in the intrinsic goodness of Americans and our desire for policy that addresses needs over wants, is affordable, efficient, and strives to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.

    So what?

    I liken the most recent Convention as a symptom of the GOP’s difficulty in defining it’s messaging and meaning. This symptom started years ago, when William F. Buckley began speaking of loosening of family values, degradation of morals, and a rise of Big Government. Of those three serious issues, only the last is a sole the province of political process.

    Today we see the tectonic plates of Conservatism and Liberalism inexorably grinding against one another. In geological terms, the Convention represents the rumble of an earthquake as OUR GOP tries to identify messaging that makes sense to younger Conservatives, without keeping the Party base from voting.

    I loathe defending the GOP in conversations; I want to rise to the rafters saying, “This is MY GOP, it is open, inclusive, and truly Conservative. The GOP is not perceived as meddlesome, theistic, or the Party of the Rich.”

    Can y’all help me with that?

    • cheapseats says:

      Thanks! That was a much better post than the snark I was planning after reading these bone-head resolutions (though a couple weren’t a complete disaster).

      Since I refuse to identify with any political party, I think it was made clear that my opinions aren’t wanted. Still, I will say that after reading all of this, you guys are about a million miles away from bringing me into your party.

    • Harry says:

      Party insiders, please don’t pretend that you’re giving any degree of transparency and decision making input to the ground troops who after all paid with time and money to be there. And no, it was not just some administrative snafu involved. It was Nancy Pelosi tactics.

  2. Baker says:

    Will any of these resolutions represent something that really might change government? Real tax reform perhaps? Ethics reform?

    • Ken says:

      Hi Baker,

      That’s why they’re resolutions. They are intended to show the party’s mind on various topics.

      In the interest of time and knowing that the convention would run long, the Resolutions Committee voted to limit the resolutions to eight, later amended to nine. Part of the selection process of the offered resolutions was to limit the discussion to resolutions that the committee gave a higher priority. This included urgency as well as importance.

      With enough time and an infinitely patient convention body there could have come been dozens of resolutions but time was limited and convention bodies tend to be restless after several hours. We yielded to reality and limited the resolutions in number and in scope.

  3. newby says:

    Great post Ghost of William F Buckley. The business of the Convention should have been done first. There is no reason that Convention should have lasted until 7:00.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      While I agree that the Convention should not have lasted so long, business cannot be done until the credentials report is given. Multiple ideas will be looked at to make sure that the next Convention runs smoother.

    • radix023 says:

      Let’s not place blame unfairly. The Credentials Committee report was ready at noon. The organizers of the convention felt that obligations to speakers were more important than doing business in a timely fashion.

      • Lawton Sack says:

        I’m not sure anyone was blaming the credentials committee. I was stating the fact that the credentials report has to be given first. If it is delayed for any reason, then business is delayed. It appears that this year it was completely out of the control of the credentials committee, as several members told me they were ready an hour or so before the report was given. I worked with the credentials committee for the Chair election, so I know how hard they worked.

  4. saltycracker says:

    Another “not exactly concerned for public interests” moment ?
    So let’s follow the money – lobbyist efforts and contributions – fees charged by the organizations to gain their certification – is it a battle to be the primary certifying organization ? Or overkill by forest owners or environmental extremists ? Betcha Its Dealin’ for dollars.

  5. Three Jack says:

    Where is Bobby Jindalesque ‘Stop being the stupid party’ resolution in the pecking order?

    A Resolution supporting the end of the Republican Party as the ‘Stupid Party’

    WHEREAS Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal recently outlined a number of instances where the GOP looked foolish and called on the party to ‘stop being the stupid party’ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/bobby-jindal-gop-must-stop-being-the-stupid-party/2013/01/26/fdd7236c-67ea-11e2-83c7-38d5fac94235_video.html)

    WHEREAS male GOP candidates have made incredibly embarrassing statements including egregious comments from senate candidates about rape;

    WHEREAS the GOP platform contains antiquated positions that most candidates cannot realistically run on if they want to win in their respective area;

    WHEREAS many in the GOP wasted years chasing conspiracy theories about the president’s birthplace while ignoring real issues that voters want them to address;

    WHEREAS many in the GOP gain all their knowledge via radio talk shows, Michelle Malkin, WND and other unreliable sources thus creating a mindless horde of talking point robots;

    WHEREAS {fill in the blank with other instances of GOP stupidity at your leisure}

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT many ‘Reluctant Republicans’ (h/t to Ghost of William Buckley) want their party back and will continue to fight stupidity as long as necessary to end this scourge of ignorance upon the formerly great party of Goldwater and Reagan.

  6. John Knop says:

    Why is classical literature being removed from my children’s curriculum? As a parent and GAGOP State Committee member I have serious concerns about the Common Core and nothing I have read above has convinced me to support it. It sounds a lot like the old “pass it so you can find out what’s in it” approach to me.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      “You’ll notice that most are relatively long, and contain…we’ll just call it complex language. And yet, it was the position of the party that these should be voted on without the delegates receiving copies in advance, and only having them available on large screens for a few moments before each was likely to be uniformly adopted by a tired and hungry assembly.”

      You beat me to it. Substituting one word… “But we have to pass the resolutions so that you can find out what is in it…”

      Great idea to establish a thread on each ahead of a long holiday weekend Charlie. I look forward to reading comments and chipping in if the mood strikes.

  7. Ken says:

    Charlie,

    I don’t know that it was anyone’s position to not publicize the resolutions. The last resolution was approved less than an hour before the Saturday morning convention session began with others being approved on Friday during a 4+ hour committee meeting. Members worked on some of the wording between the two meetings, so final wording on others was not complete until Saturday morning, as well.

    Scott Johnson (Republican Chairman, 11th Congressional District) and I co-chaired the committee and, after requests from us, we received the majority of the resolutions which passed district conventions from the state party on May 13th. We had time to send copies of the resolutions to the committee and hold a conference call to begin the screening process on the night of the 15th. With members from all 14 congressional districts represented, a physical meeting was not practical before we met in Athens Friday morning, the 17th, the day the convention officially started. And if you’re wondering about the 16th, most of us were traveling to Athens and then attending the state executive committee and state committee meetings so no additional conference call was feasible.

    There was simply no time to publicize anything though we did make the resolutions public on Dropbox so that those with smartphones could access them before the Saturday (voting) session. I’m sure there is a better way, but if we had thought of it then we would have done it that way.

    Some might infer from your wording that there was an attempt to suppress information, I assure you and them that this was not the case. Time does not yield to man (and certainly not to committees).

    • Harry says:

      The committee should meet and decide which resolutions to present in advance of the convention and allow them to be considered and discussed for days or weeks beforehand?

      • Ken says:

        Really? With all due respect, Harry, look at the timeline and tell me when that could have been. We got the resolutions on the 13th of May, the convention began on the 17th of May – the same year. How many weeks are in those four days?

    • Charlie says:

      I wrote a lengthy response to this earlier but the internets died here at the office and it didn’t post. So, we’ll try again.

      First, I respect the work done by the committee and the limited time you had to do it in. That is not my issue here.

      As noted by the exchange between you and Harry above, the problem is one of process. Those folks that spent the better part of three hours Saturday morning giving each other self-congratulatory gifts should have set the convention up better that to waste 3 hours of delegates time on crystal exchange and speeches from non-Georgia Republicans (seriously, was Marsha Blackburn just pulling GOP applause lines randomly out of a bag?)

      If these resolutions are to have any weight, the entire process under which they are developed, considered, recommended, and approved must be changed.

      To start with, there must be some recognition that convention delegates are but a small subset of Republican thought (and grassroots). Those participating in writing and proposing these resolutions are an even much smaller subset of that subset, and tend to gravitate towards the farther right than even the convention body, much less the universe of Republican primary voters. As such, what was proposed (and yes, I’ve seen some of what was proposed that was rejected as well – frankly some fringe scary stuff) set the tone for a narrow view of what would be projected as the position of the party – one that looked at outside the compressed and closed process of which you were attempting to do your best runs quite contrary to the theme of an open and inclusive party that virtually all candidates for officer positions ran on.

      The process for resolutions is broken. Period.

      With no disrespect intended toward you and the rest of the committee, the process under which you worked produced a product that is contrary to what the GOP was trying to accomplish with this convention and the tone these officers promised to set for the next 2 years.

      This process needs to be looked at from the county level up to the state level. Resolutions committees should get their assignments and be able to do the work well in advance of the respective conventions. Drafts of those which look to be recommended should be made public so that comments/critiques can be made before the final versions are recommended. Then, those final copies should be distributed to delegates well in advance of the convention.

      That is the only way these will have any merit. Otherwise, it comes across as the rantings of a few well positioned cranks who worked the broken process to their advantage.

      Those of you who worked hard to try and make this terribly broken process work have ended up with no one happy. That’s not your fault, and you deserve no blame. But I hope you will send the message of the impossibility of the schedule which you were working under to the state committee so this doesn’t happen again in 2 years. Of all the things broken about this year’s convention process, this one is the most material.

      • Lawton Sack says:

        I really don’t want to get into the minutia of all of this, as I am just ready to move forward, but there were a lot of logistical issues at play here this year, including a shorthanded GAGOP staff. I will say that a lot of people stepped up and did a great job with the limited time and resources.

        Please remember that since County Conventions and District Conventions can pass Resolutions, a final deadline has to be set after the District Conventions are held. People get upset when their District is not represented, so each District is represented on each of the committees. A volunteer committee comprised of people from 14 Districts is difficult to arrange meetings within a tight window.

        These issues will be looked at and fixed. There has not been a single person on the Executive or District Committee that I have spoken with that has not offered some ideas about making improvements. My personal suggestion is to appoint permanent committees that serve through a 2-year term, including the Convention(s).

      • Ken says:

        Charlie,

        Absolutely no offense taken. Your statements about the logistics of this are accurate. I also agree that, by definition, those who attend the state conventions and/or hold office within the GOP are atypical for many reasons.

        I appreciate the kind words about the committee members, as well. They did work hard with little time and through some serious differences of opinion. I feel fortunate to have worked with them.

        Lawton’s idea of permanent committees is a good one. Let me add that resolutions could come about before the district conventions meet possibly through permanent district committees and ratified/rejected by the district committee.

        And again, to echo Lawton, the theme after the convention was mostly what we need to do to improve the entire convention process. I’m confident we will improve it and your suggestions will certainly be a part of the discussion.

      • S. Arrington says:

        Charlie,

        I really cannot agree that the process for resolutions is broken, but it could be improved. Based on my previous service on the Resolutions Committee, back in 2003 if I remember the year right, this was far better than that year. That year, committee members did not see any of the resolutions in advance until we walked through the door where the meeting began – except for those that had passed in our own districts that were part of the pile in front of us. This year, Ken and Scott were very diligent to ensure that the Resolutions Committee got advance copies via email, and we also had a conference call prior to our arrival in Athens. One problem that we all noted on the call was the fact that the State Party had not included all the resolutions that had been sent to Atlanta. We tried to send each other all the extra resolutions that had passed in our districts which were not in some way already represented in our stack.

        As Ken noted for you below, the resolutions we received had already been passed at the county level and the district level. Some of the subject matter had already been passed by the RNC. Yes, some still needed more work, and we addressed language changes in the committee meetings. I don’t know of many committees of 16 people who could go through that much material in that short of a time span. But, it is doable.

  8. Harry says:

    I don’t mind going head to head with so-called RINOs on resolutions, but wouldn’t want to see either the RINOs or social conservatives like myself being excluded from an opportunity to debate resolutions. As I said above, trying to eliminate honest debate is pure Pelosi tactics.

    • Ken says:

      Harry,

      Would you like to elaborate on how anyone is attempting to “eliminate honest debate”?*

      *I may regret this – but it is a full moon.

    • Ken says:

      And you should understand that the vast majority of the resolutions came from the district conventions which came from county conventions which came from individuals. This is as grasssroots as it gets.

    • Harry says:

      Let’s spell it out. If for whatever reason there’s no time to mull over much less vote on resolutions, then you’ve just eliminated honest debate and the chance for delegates to have a voice.

      • Harry says:

        And yes, I don’t believe this was just coincidence. An effort is ongoing to run things from the top down instead of the bottom up in the GOP, just as happened with the Dems. Why are you so afraid of opening up for debate and discussion? It would make for a stronger political system. Why does everything seemingly have to be in remission?

        • Ken says:

          Harry,

          There was not a quorum. No further business could have been conducted other than adjournment.

          I’m sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but the votes of members no longer in attendance at a convention are counted as abstentions. Once a quorum (over 50% of voting attendees) is lost, no motions can pass because even if all members remaining vote “yea” the motion still cannot achieve a majority with over 50% abstaining. Remaining in attendance was without purpose for that reason.

          And you’re right, it wasn’t a coincidence. Once voting for officers was completed, people were streaming out of the convention hall because voting for officers was completed. The state committee will, I believe, complete convention business at its next meeting.

          No conspiracy, no fear of debate, no black helicopters, just gasp! Roberts’ Rules of Order.

          • Harry says:

            Are you really saying that? Yes, I’d like to believe that it’s just yet another example of the GOP being the stupid party that they didn’t plan things and time ran out…but looking at other interesting developments at national and state level, it seems the puppeteers are trying to find ways to homogenize debate and game it from the top down. I’m not accusing you of being culpable.

            • Doug Grammer says:

              Harry,

              The same resolutions that were passed by counties and districts will be heard and debated upon by the state committee instead of the convention. Plan and run a few conventions before you launch conspiracy theories.

              • Harry says:

                Voting on resolutions by an executive committee is not the same as an open convention. Committee members are more controlled, will sometimes try to get ahead in the hierarchy and not rock the boat. Maybe you need to be a bit more aware and less Pollyanna. You call me a conspiracy theorist – which I am – but you apparently pretend that a vote by committee is expressing the will of the delegates at the ground level who actually gave of their time and money to go to the state convention and then were not permitted to vote on resolutions due to “bad planning”. I call BS. You should mail a sealed ballot to every delegate who attended, and let them vote.

                • Ken says:

                  Harry,

                  Not the GAGOP Executive Committrr but the GAGOP State Committee. There is a difference.

                  In addition, both of these committees represent the Republicans across the state as chosen by those Republicans. It’s a Republican form of representation.

                • Doug Grammer says:

                  Harry,

                  We followed the will of the convention. Delegates left giving the decisions on resolutions to the state committee. I did not hear any delegate speak up when we were adopting the agenda on Friday to change the order of business. When we decided to discuss resolutions was also the will of the convention.

                • Doug Grammer says:

                  It wasn’t bad planning per se, it was the will of those who left and those who didn’t ask to change the agenda when it was adopted.

                  • Harry says:

                    Let’s hope there’s a tighter agenda next time. Otherwise, they should decide to eliminate the resolutions altogether and take that responsibility away from the delegates. One less reason to attend. I still don’t know why it would be so difficult at this point to just mail the resolutions to the delegates and get their vote that way. Maybe the committee could consider that.

                    If they decide to allow resolutions to be voted on by the delegates in the future, then why not publish them a couple of weeks in advance in order to allow sufficient time to adequately discuss and consider? Nobody likes to make decisions on short notice.

                    • Doug Grammer says:

                      “I still don’t know why it would be so difficult at this point to just mail the resolutions to the delegates and get their vote that way. Maybe the committee could consider that. ”

                      They can consider that, but Roberts Rules of Order states that the convention had first crack and when people left, they were in essence voting to let the state committee have the second crack.

                      The state convention follows the county and district conventions. The members of the state convention committees have to be made up of delegates to the state convention. If the state convention is going to take up resolutions passed at the district level, there has to be enough time for the committee to do its work.

                      This is why I am in favor of a state platform, or a permanent resolutions committee. Let them work on it for a year and bring it back at the next state convention.

  9. Scott65 says:

    My impression is of the guy thats playing the violin while Rome burns when I read the resolutions

      • Scott65 says:

        Whats a “crat” Not familiar with the term…and it does not answer the question my comment raises, but I didnt expect an answer…thats why you have the resolutions

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