In the last couple of hours:
- Herman Cain “suspended” his presidential campaign (which, in practice, means that he’s done).
- Sen. Rand Paul has been referred to at National Review as a “libertarian extremist”—the venue and the description both point to just how tough it’s going to be for libertarian-leaning Republicans to gain a foothold in the GOP unless something drastic happens.
- The Nebraska Republican Party took no formal action on this, but a party official was heard to say that, not only is it the party’s responsibility to elect Republicans (I’ll agree with that—when they’re competing with Democrats and other parties’ candidates—it is the job of any party to support their candidates), but that it’s “the Party’s” responsibility to predetermine who the strongest candidates are (in most cases, they will be Republicans), and to endorse candidates—even in the primaries against other Republicans.
- This is a battle that some of us here in Nebraska have been fighting for several years. We believe that it is the Party’s role to provide help to its nominees; not to determine who the nominees are. We have objected on several occasions to both automatic endorsements for Republican incumbents (congressional and state legislature, as well as a few more local offices), as well as a litmus test enacted at the previous State Central Committee meeting which would deny help to any incumbent Republican incumbent legislators—even in a general election against a Democrat—who had failed to support a particular piece of legislation which would return Nebraska’s Electoral College voting to winner-take-all.
- It appears now that the next move will be for the 100 or so Party overlords to tell half of the voters in Nebraska (roughly 550,000) who should be nominee of the Party. If smoking weren’t so politically incorrect, one might be tempted to think that we were returning to the days of smoke-filled rooms for choosing our candidates…