Michigan republicans have a bad habit of making national news for all the wrong reasons.
According to Article IV, Section G, Paragraph 1 of the Bylaws of the Michigan Republican State Committee, “The Chairman shall have the power to declare vacant the seat of any officer who refuses to support the Republican nominee for any office within the State of Michigan.” That’s the language, and it’s straightforward. If you’re one of the officers specified in Article IV, Section A of those same bylaws, then you support the republican nominees, up and down the ticket, or else risk immediate termination . . . end of discussion.
That paragraph is something that a certain lady, whom I still consider a friend, should have considered before shooting her mouth off, knowing the cameras were rolling, last Friday.
Do we really want a third term for a Vice Chair who appears to be more interested in pandering than in outreach?
Since early 2014, there have been ever-escalating smear attacks against our national committeeman, Dave Agema, that have been as predictable as the calendar, in that they’ve occurred, if my memory serves me correctly, during the runup to every national or state committee meeting last year, as well as during the weeks immediately preceding the “fall” state convention (and are now occurring concurrent to the weeks preceding the “spring” state convention four weeks from now). The pattern is also predictable, in that either Ken Braun or Dennis Lennox (occasionally Kathy Hoekstra just for the sake of variety) will get wind (via one of their trolls) of a social media post on Agema’s Facebook page, will then cherry-pick some alleged “money quote” from the source article (or an article buried up to three links deep from that source) and then report that “money quote” as though Agema originally said it . . . and never-you-mind that they can’t be bothered to accurately report what he actually said with regard to why he found something post-worthy. The next step, again ridiculously predictable, is that the three amigos will then use their press credentials to publish opinion pieces, which allegedly-more-credible reporters will then use as source material for front-page “news” stories, which the usual suspects will then use to fuel a smear campaign of manufactured outrage, which the party’s useful idiots and low-information voter bloc will dutifully echo as an ever-increasing crescendo of calls for Agema to step down “for the good of the party.”
Fully detailing this pattern and the miscreants perpetuating it – which I intend to do – is a topic for another day soon. My purpose in mentioning it here is to merely highlight the hypocrisy of selective outrage within the party leadership, specifically in regard to a certain vice chair whose own conduct has been perhaps more offensive than that of the national committeeman for whose resignation she has recently called.
Is the handwriting on the wall for the tea party movement in Michigan?
The saying “the handwriting is on the wall” has as its source an incident in 539 BC, recorded for posterity in Daniel 5, in which King Belshazzar of Babylon is plainly told that he has been weighed in the divine balance and found wanting, that the days of both his kingdom and his life have been numbered and brought to an end, and that his empire will be divided between the Medes and Persians then advancing on the city. The concept survives in modern English idiomology to imply that circumstances are such for a person or organization that it is now clear that their ultimate failure is to be expected, or at best will be effectively impossible to avert.
Given the thorough pasting that the constitutionalist insurgency endured in Michigan last month, as a statewide aggregate, it wasn’t exactly a leap for reporters and pundits (likely working from a coordinated set of talking points courtesy of the Michigan Republican Party old guard) to insert dramatic prophecies of impending doom for the tea party movement into their headlines and opinion pieces. David’s missive and Jason’s observation notwithstanding, I don’t think it unreasonable to ask the question: Given the significant events of last August, let alone the past 5-1/2 years, is the tea party movement on the verge of becoming just another footnote in Michigan political history?
When it comes to campaign finance, the tea party movement just doesn’t get it
“You can’t save the world if you can’t pay the rent.” – Morton Blackwell
It’s always an interesting academic exercise to attempt to calculate what Judas Iscariot’s 30 pieces of silver would have been worth in contemporary American currency. Depending upon whose calculations you use (and what assumptions they started with), estimates have varied from a few “benjamins” to a quarter-million “eisenhowers.” Almost all of the speculation, however, misses the point. And if you’re wondering how Judas’ epic infamy is connected to Mr. Blackwell’s wisdom, well, we’ll discuss that after the break.
Why would a pro-life party embrace a culture of death?
The normal course of action for a pandemic is to mobilize medical resources in order to learn, as quickly as possible, as much as can be learned about the disease, specifically including source of infection and method of transmission. Until this information is learned, the victims are sometimes isolated from the rest of society as a reliable way to contain the outbreak, until either a cure or vaccine is developed. Even if a cure or vaccine isn’t yet available, the knowledge regarding infection source and transmission is made public as soon as it’s known, and widely circulated, so that others who aren’t infected can take appropriate precautions.
But what happens when both the principal source of infection and the principal method of transmission for a global pandemic are known to be directly linked to a lifestyle choice that is a political hot-button issue? Does elected leadership still speak the truth, so that those at risk can know the facts and adjust their lifestyle accordingly, or do they put reelection concerns above all else, bury their heads in the sand, and publicly chastise any of their own who dare speak the truth in public on the record?
My pastor, when he’s discussing contemporary culture from either the sanctuary pulpit or the classroom lectern, likes to refer to what he calls, “itching ear disorder.” The primary Scripture reference is 2 Timothy 4:3-4, referring to a time when people will have no further interest in the truth, and won’t tolerate listening to anything that contradicts their philosophical predispositions. As a student of Scripture, I can say with some certainty that the prophets and apostles were well acquainted with this disorder. Hosea even wrote about a time when hostility against the truth would become so great that those who insist on speaking it would be considered fools and maniacs. According to a disputed George Orwell quote (“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”), “itching ear disorder” isn’t exactly an unusual condition in the human experience.
And this brings us to the current philosophical skirmish involving Michigan’s Republican National Committeeman, which involves the latest escalation by some unsavory elements within the Michigan Republican Party, who seem to be in a desperate quest to reclaim lost relevance.