is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
Author's Note: Regardless of your position on the Presidential candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul, I believe you will find this attack on the democratic process profoundly disturbing. If the rule of law means nothing at the lowest levels of the political process in America, how can we expect it to have meaning at the highest? Please share this column with everyone you know. Our silence grants a foothold to tyranny.
If you believe that democracy is still alive and well in the United States, I invite you to watch the video below. In less than 30 seconds, from the call for the vote to the closing of the convention, you'll see an attack on democracy intended to destroy the will of the people, bringing to mind Jimmy Doolittle's 30 seconds over Tokyo, intended to destroy the will of a different people. This Tireless Agorist is sure that just as the raid on Tokyo provided a morale boost for the American people, the Athens-Clarke County Republican Party establishment got a boost in their morale from believing they had successfully completed their raid on democracy.
But just as Doolittle's raid strengthened the resolve of the Japanese people, so too has this action strengthened the resolve of those who expect their voices to be heard through peaceful, democratic means and the rule of law.
Note in the video at that soon as the last name of the slate of delegates proposed by the party establishment is read, a call from the audience moves to accept the slate, immediately seconded, followed by the call for "Ayes" -- almost like it was rehearsed, or at least planned. No call for the "Nayes" can be heard, but immediately, in response, echo calls for "Division."
As the video explains, according to the rules in effect, "Division is a call for a head count of a vote. Division does not yield to any motion. It is not debatable. It is not amendable. It does not require a vote. It cannot be reconsidered." In other words, the only legitimate way for the chair to respond is to call for a head count of the vote.
Instead, the convention chair announces the convention closed, also contrary to the rules, as a voice vote is required to close the convention. The crime against the democratic process is complete.
The description posted along with the video on YouTube provides a concise summary of the events.
On Saturday March 10th, in Athens, GA, the democratic process was trampled on. The Athens-Clarke County GOP met to hold their annual county convention. The convention was held to nominate, approve, and pass slates of delegates to the party's district and state conventions. County chairman Matt Brewster and nominating committee chairman John Elliot blatantly broke the rules of their own party when they improperly, and without a majority, passed delegate slates and adjourned the convention amidst cries for "division", which is a call for a standing head count.The video continues, including the attempts to question Mr. Brewster and Mr. Padgett as well as video affidavits of a majority of the attendees at the convention, testifying to the events that occurred. A blatant disenfranchisement of the majority of the duly-elected delegates to the county convention had been executed, but it had also been documented. The revolution may not be televised, but it will be YouTubed.
With that, many sitting precinct delegates were disenfranchised, and the convention was improperly closed. When warned that their conduct was jeopardizing the status of the delegates and alternates for the entire county, the chair Matt Brewster directed all questions to John Padgett, who is the Secretary of the Georgia State Republican Party. Unfortunately, Mr. Padgett refused to answer questions and fled the scene along with the rest of the local GOP leadership.
In the ensuing week, the disenfranchised delegates have continued their battle. Since the convention was never closed by convention vote, a majority of those attending the convention reconvened, passed their own slate of delegates, and submitted that slate to the Georgia Republican Party.
Whether the Georgia Republican Party will bend to the desires of the county establishment even in their blatant disregard for the proper execution of the democratic process, or stand firm on the rule of law is yet to be seen. Given the presence at the convention of John Padgett, the Secretary of the Georgia State Republican Party, and his video-taped reaction to the events, it appears that the state party is as likely to uphold the rule of law as the Athens-Clark County GOP. But what is clear beyond doubt is that to the Republican Party establishment in Clarke County, Georgia, the rule of law is secondary to maintaining their hold on power.
...and that's all I have to say about that.