Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Naming Names

Since I am somewhat involved in local Republican Party politics I receive letters from various groups within the party supporting various causes. Last Saturday, one such letter arrived in my mailbox from a group called Coalition for Reform of the Minnesota Republican Party Leadership (a.k.a. COROMREPAL). The letter was authored by one Joe Repya, a man well-known and respected in local conservative circle.

The letter called for a "re-structuring of the Minnesota GOP" and listed sixteen "critical reform steps" necessary for said change. Many are rather inside baseball and probably not meaningful for those not inside party circles. Some are excellent suggestions for much needed and overdue actions, such as #4 which talks about the need for the party to get up to speed on technology and the internet. Anyone who has toiled for any period of time at the grassroots level of the party knows just how desperate this need is. Others are of more dubious value, such as #15 which calls on the party to back all candidates throughout the state and force the DFL to defend the metropolitan seats where it typically gets upwards of 70% of the vote. In my opinion, precious resources are better used in races where they may actually influence the outcome, but it's a matter that's open to debate.

The one step that did catch my eye and raise questions was #14. It called for the party chair to "always (emphasis in the original) promote a positive message to Minnesota" and "not publicly criticize or pass judgment on fellow Republicans." It also said that "We must criticize our own in 'private' and praise in 'public.'" Not especially unusual, really just a restatement of Reagan's 11th commandment. Then came this:

"The days of turning "thug bloggers" loose on our own fellow GOP activists or office holders must stop!" (again emphasis in the original--underline not strikethrough)

The problem is that these "thug bloggers" were not named anywhere in the letter. I may be naive or simply ignorant, but I honestly have no idea who these alleged blogging bullies are. I think I've got a pretty good handle on most of the local bloggers on the right and I can't think of any where the label "thug" would be an apt descriptor. Nerd, geek, tightwad, goofball, Cheesehead, hairy-backed swamp developer, etc. come quickly to mind, but not "thug."

So I ask those who are pushing for reform, openness, and transparency to practice what they preach and let us know who these "thugs" in our midst are. If they prefer the private to the public route I would understand. But I don't understand or appreciate them tossing around these kind of accusations without providing more specific details.

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