Missing the Party

28 May

rpvadThis weekend thousands of Virginia Republicans will roll into town for the 2009 Republican Party of Virginia nominating convention. The GOP will be nominating candidates for the office of Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General. And, they’ll be electing, or re-electing a new party chairman.

I, on the other hand, won’t be there. I’ve spoken often on this blog about my disappointment with the Republican Party at both the national and state level. I’m convinced that it’s a betrayal of Republican values and principles that have caused the GOP to become the minority party.

I’ve been disappointed as I watched the GOP nominate the most unelectable candidate in a generation out of a cast of thousands. I’ve been disappointed as I watched Eric Cantor whip up support for the first bailout package. I’ve been disappointed as I’ve seen some GOP leadership in the Commonwealth cave on the smoking ban. The whole ousting of Jeff Frederick was a disaster from both sides of the fight. At the top of the line, Michael Steele has been at best a disappointment. Then there’s the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsement of Charles Crist in the Florida Primary. I could go on.

Reality is that mainstream Republicans are very difficult to distinguish from mainstream Democrats. They all want to spend too much. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good ones out there and they’re worth fighting for.

But for me those fights will be on a case by case basis, not because of party identity.

So when the time came to register as a delegate for the convention, I didn’t. I’d thought about it for a long time. And I’ve certainly been there before. I’ve done this politics thing for over 25 years now. But at the time of the filing, I was working weekends and just didn’t want to make the extra effort.

Now that the weekend is upon us, I’m still thinking I made the right decision. But I see the excitement generating on Facebook and around The Jeffersoniad, and I see the lists and the posts of old friends who will be there this weekend. And it makes me a little sad that I won’t be there. But perhaps sad in the sense that I just wouldn’t fit in.

This is a crucial weekend for Virginia Republicans. My hope is that the convention comes together to united behind Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli. I’ll be united behind them in support through November, but as an independent, not a party member.

Bearing Drift will be among the blogs covering the convention activity.

Best of luck guys.

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