So he’s got a funny last name; I share that fate with Reince Priebus.
His team reviewing party performance in 2012 hit a home run with one pair of ideas:
- Broaden our candidate selection process in all states by eliminating caucuses and empowering ordinary Republicans whose decisions matter more than kowtowing to fervid activists.
- End the nomination process much sooner – so Republicans tackle Democrats, not each other.
Colorado’s June primary stinks. Regular Republicans have no say in picking our Republican nominee for President. That’s hog doo-doo.
Colorado’s lengthy system – too often – cripples our candidates and gives Democrats plenty of ammo – created by losing Republicans – to destroy our candidate in November. Would Ken Buck have won if his snark about women in high heels had happened in January instead of summertime? Maybe.
There’s something fundamentally un-American about filtering candidates through a process only Chinese mandarins with ten inch fingernails could love:
- first a caucus,
- second a county convention,
- third a series of congressional district conventions and
- finally a state convention
before we let regular Republicans decide. No other state has our ridiculous inside baseball system.
The caucus system costs our eventual candidate at least 90 days when she or he should be talking with all voters, not just the select few with leisure time to sit through this process.
Our system fosters Todd Akin-style bloopers. Our candidates learn “Republicanese.” They forget how to speak to real Colorado families … who don’t care about minor points of Republican theology. What we get shouldn’t surprise us.
We disrespect real people by requiring them to spend this much time on Roberts Rules of Order moments. Few working moms with two kids have time for this dilatory process.
Finally, having run a state party, I can tell you the convention process eats staff time like a hungry teen gobbling sliders. Not only do we waste volunteers’ time and misdirect candidates’ efforts, we also cripple our state and county parties.
End Result of Caucus System? Near Zero.
All this recondite power doesn’t make insider activists ardent supporters of the Republican cause. They don’t open their wallets, that’s for sure.
In 2012 our Republican party’s state campaign account got contributions from 676 donors. Compare that to the 66,224 Republicans who attended our caucuses last year. No wonder our candidates ended up well behind in campaign cash.
While some may volunteer, no observer thinks Colorado’s Republicans produced more volunteers for our ground game than the Democrats ginned up.
So Mr. Priebus, take the advice of your own smart people. Work with the National Committee to clear the decks for a process that aims us at victory over Democrats … not one that wastes time sniping at fellow Republicans.
Let all Republicans decide timely. Starting in 2014.