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The GOP: A vehicle, not a master

For the considerable discussion over whether Virginia Republicans should have a convention or a primary in 2016, one of the probably entrants into the 2016 presidential contest, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said a few words worth considering:

“Here’s the thing you have to realize, the Republican Party is my vehicle, and not my master”

The context is his decision to run with a bunch of old John McCain hands on his team. And his embrace of Medicaid expansion certainly plays into the statement, too.

But the “vehicle not master” idea is something Virginia’s Republicans shouldn’t ignore. Federal law and court decisions have hollowed out political parties to such an extent that they are, in national elections especially, pass-through organizations with nice mail permits. Such entities are incapable of enforcing discipline on candidates and even less so on incumbents. The recent primary elections showed that most office holders do not need the party, or its constituent parts, to win. The apparatus can be useful, but it is not essential. And it is certainly nothing to be feared.

You want big campaign cash? There’s a super PAC for that. Need boots on the ground? A plethora of 501(c)(4) organizations are already making their plans. Technology got you down? The outside groups have that covered and are getting better every day. Need the RPV? Please leave a message.

Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.