December 20, 2013

Hello Virginia Republican Party honchos,

Bang up job there, coming up with the slate of three losing candidates in this November’s election. And it really is you — and the most ardent Republican operatives, activists and office holders — who did it. Only about 8,000 dyed-in-the-wool conservatives showed up on a weekend in May in Richmond, at least a two-hour drive for the people in the most populous part of the state (Northern Virginia). And, oddly, many Virginians on a Saturday in May were occupied with family, friends and so on. In short, people who have a life generally don’t show up at these things. So, it was a sliver of Virginians who picked the trifecta of losers.

This week, the beloved Rep. Frank Wolf — who, if it were up to those 8,000, probably never would have won 17 elections — announced that he would retire. Let me put it bluntly: If you plan on holding a convention to pick the nominee for this seat in a district populated by moderate Republicans and middle-of-the-road Democrats, you might want to consider closing up shop here in the Commonwealth. You’re just asking for it.

Interestingly, one of the aspirants for Wolf’s seat who’d probably thrill the 8,000 wound up in a wee bit of trouble this week. State Del. Dick Black apparently believes marital rape doesn’t exist:

Now save your breath. Maybe he was just talking about the difficulty of prosecuting these cases. Good luck explaining that. (See hugely successful war-on-women ads by Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe). I’d urge you to chat with not-U.S. senators Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. And don’t give me that, “Are we going to let political correctness pick our nominee?” jazz; indifference to modern sensibilities is precisely why those 8,000 conventioneers have such a poor record in picking viable candidates.

You see where I am going? One way to prevent a disaster like 2013 is to use a primary, not a closed club of party insiders, to pick the nominee. If you don’t believe me, sit down with former congressman and new Republican Artur Davis. He wrote in an e-mail: “There are tens of thousands of Republicans in the 10th District who aren’t going to sit through a party meeting,  who aren’t card carrying activists, who ought to be able to walk in their normal polling place to pick their candidate.” He warned, “We need to stop acting as if we fear the voters who aren’t on our email chains.” Hmm. He’s got a point, no?

I’ve got a vested interest in all this since I live in the 10th Congressional District. No one is going to “replace” Frank Wolf, but it would be nice to have an electable and impressive candidate. If instead you come up with a Saturday-in-Richmond nominee who spews fire and brimstone, I’ll be voting for the Democrat, who will be picked by a primary and, therefore, is unlikely to be obviously incapable of winning. Just saying.

All my best,

Frustrated in the 10th

 

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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