Thursday, March 19, 2009

Frederick Should Stay

I hate when I have good friends on opposing sides of a bitter fight. But I've been around long enough to know that's part of the price.

Since I first learned from my friend Jim Hoeft at Bearing Drift that some members of the State Central Committee had formally asked Jeff Frederick to step down as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, I have thought long and deeply about where to side, asking questions of friends on both sides of the issue.

After considering the charges against Mr. Frederick, his responses, and the comments of my friends and acquaintances, I have decided to support Mr. Frederick. He is a pro-life, anti-tax, non-establishment conservative, and I do not find the charges against him compelling. Mr. Frederick has responded in detail to each of them, and called them "false and without merit".

Silly seems more like it to me. Consider #9: "Damage to the reputation and effectiveness of the Republican Party of Virginia through refusal to coordinate activities, including campaign messages, with Republican nominees for public office".

Are they joking? "Damage to the reputation and effectiveness of the Republican Party of Virginia"? RPV has been a disaster for years. To cite just a couple of examples from my own experience: In the fall of 2006, I contacted RPV to volunteer for the Allen campaign, and never heard back. Last year, RPV's convention was such a logistical disaster that they were about 100 seats short for my (Fairfax County) delegation, and ours was not alone. Mr. Frederick has had less than a year to clean up this mess. Any organization that's either well-managed or has any class gives someone in a complicated position at least a year before showing him the door.

More to the point, do they really think that the Republicans had their heads handed to them in November because of Jeff Frederick's failures? This would be the Republican Party that nominated John McCain, that pushed through the unpopular bank bail-out weeks before the election, that had betrayed conservative principles for 19 years.

This isn't to say that Mr. Frederick hasn't made notable missteps. Responding to criticism of RPV's social-media efforts, for example, Mr. Frederick commented, "As you may know, I rarely read blogs," thus lending credence to every suspicion that he's arrogant and out of touch. And the behavior of some of his supporters in the current brouhaha has been nothing short of infantile.

But the movement against him, what my friend and SCC member Jim Bowden calls a "political lynching", has all the hallmarks of an insider cabal against an elected leader. Consider Mr. Bowden's assessment of the Soviet-style secrecy under which he was asked to join the lynching party:

If there were a real crisis - I would have been allowed to see the charges as a member of SCC. Instead, I was told I couldn’t have a copy unless I agreed to sign in advance. I would have been told who will replace Jeff. Instead, I was told a male and female “are being looked at.”

And that leads to another concern regarding the effort against Mr. Frederick: Who will replace him? A conservative populist or an establishment RINO? Well, gee, who are insiders likely to pick?

The Republican Party desperately needs to return to its conservative roots. An insider-led political lynching of an elected conservative isn't the way to do it.

This is not an eternal endorsement. It is still possible that something compelling will emerge to change my mind. But for now:

Jeff Frederick should remain as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

13 comments:

James Young said...

Happy to see you're one of the few who reads (and remembers!) my rantings, Leslie.

I agree. To quote Gertrude Stein, "There's no 'there' there."

Elected leaders should not be discarded lightly. And RPV is startin' to look like a friggin' banana republic.

J.R.Hoeft said...

I'm not sure where I stand on this flap yet either, Leslie, but your points are very well made and should be considered by anyone trying to make a decision.

VASocialConservative said...

Very well done. I posted the article on the We Support Chairman Jeff Frederick group on RPVNetwork.

Support said...

A great post. I agree entirely. I think this is a clear example of cabal of insiders trying to oust a freely elected leader because he dared to be a leader. Some have been deceived by association. They don't say they believe the charges but they instead defer to those high profile politicians that have came out against Jeff as if they can not think for themselves. I expected better from Republicans but what can I say many of these are the same who consistently find it easier to attack their own than attack Democrats. We need to come together and support our Chairman and do what is best for the party not an elite group of insiders who are offended that someone like Jeff could even rise to a leadership. He doesn't have the breeding, the pedigree, or the high profile friends that Virginia politics seems to require for advancement. Part of me is beginning to believe that is at the core of this. Jeff is not one of them. He does not peddle conservative wares to the grassroots and then backbite them sniveling reporters.

Well I've long tired of GOP leaders who are lifted on our shoulders only to betray us by voting for things like the horrible bailout or jeopardizing our children putting union and sexual activist interests over quality of education. They don't always do this overtly. They won't do it to our face. Just as this thing with Jeff. They didn't even want us to have a say. No Democracy for them. They are Republicans...and I am embarrassed for them.

Soldier-Coder said...

J.R. Hoeft, thats another thing that gets my dander up... what you said about Leslie's points "...should be considered by anyone trying to make a decision."

Who exactly would that be? It sounds like the establishment has already scripted the decision. And nevermind those pesky delagates who voted Jeff in.

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James Young said...

I agree with Anonymous!

Charlie Fugate said...

James,

That's about how much sense this flap makes to me. I have attempted to make the point, that I am less concerned about personalities than with process. I respect Mr. Frederick and his leadership. He was elected in a legally credentialed and seated convention in a contested election. He should have his say eye to eyes in front of the convention. Anything less, even with the SCC meeting coming up, will be a railroading and I will not be part of it.

J R "States" Manship said...

Last Saturday at the Yellow Barn fundraiser dinner for the Shenandoah Republican Party, Chairman Frederick gave a very good, point by point, talk on several successes since he became leader of the Virginia GOP. I wish his speech was posted, or better on YouTube.

Your point of giving Frederick time to implement necessary changes is key. His election as Chairman just before the "McCain Misery" can not in any fair sense be hung on his neck for GOP losses.

And your point that the entire GOP convention should vote on this, not just the State Central Committee is also on the mark.

Keep up the conservative and CLEAR thinking!

In GW, J R "States" Manship

Carrie Wigal said...

Nicely written, Leslie. I'm with you on this. I also don't understand why this removal is being done by SCC when it was the Convention delegation that voted him in. From what I understand the party plan indicates two different parties able to remove a State Chairman...either the SCC or Convention. I would think since it was a Convention that voted him in, it should be a convention that votes him out (if need be).

Anonymous said...

A very good defense of Jeff.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Jeff is a good conservative, and we need more people like that in the party leadership. Let's not have unelected party elites kick out an elected chairman.

Anonymous said...

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