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The Romney Campaign and the RNC may give lip service to "liberty" but they have every intention of exercising complete top down control of the party after this convention. While I firmly believe that conservatives love to see a good authoritarian quashing of dissent, it's interesting to watch how they react to being the target of the quashing.

There is a battle still brewing this morning over Rule 12 which would effectively strip the grassroots of any control governing party rules. While the Romney people offered to take back Rule 15 and 16 which would have taken away the state's abilities to pick their own delegates, it hardly matters since proposed Rule 12 changes would allow them to just change anything they want to after the convention with 2/3 vote of the RNC. Convention delegates have few responsibilities. They vote for the nominee and they vote on rules. Romney and the RNC want to name their own delegates and make all the rules. Follow me over the Itzl to take a peek into the tempest brewing in the GOP convention teapot.

As of this morning, it appears that the minority report has been killed after the party operatives got people to remove their signatures. What kind of arm twisting went on in order to accomplish that feat is anyone's guess.

Here's the text of proposed Rule 12

The Republican National Committee may, by three-fourths (3/4) vote of its entire membership, amend Rule Nos. 1-11 and 13-25. Any such amendment shall be considered by the Republican National Committee only if it was passed by a majority vote of the Standing Committee on Rules after having been submitted in writing at least ten (10) days in advance of its consideration by the Republican National Committee and shall take effect thirty (30) days after adoption. No such amendment shall be adopted after September 30, 2014.
So essentially, whatever rules the delegates on the floor of the convention approve can be changed after the convention by the RNC. While the delegate representation from the states is decided by population, there are only 3 people from each state on the rules committee. The tea party believes this effectively suppresses their voice since more moderate states would have the same number of votes as the conservative states that have larger populations (read Texas). They'd be right.

From Freedomworks (sorry but I have to link so you can see this)

“Some are answering that Rule 12 has checks and balances, but far too much is being made of these. There's no "emergency changes only" requirement, and it's clear from the debate offered in the committee that the intention is to not restrict it to emergency changes but to allow consideration of substantive and controversial changes that the candidates prevent being discussed during the convention media cycle. There's no ratification requirement such as requiring a number of State Executive Committees to ratify, or the next national convention to ratify. There's no attempt to preserve the strength of the individual states.”
A host of ring wingers are rallying people to fight this including Erik son of Erik (diaried here), Michele Malkin (I just can't bring myself to link her) and even St. Sarah (on her facebook page). If the party did indeed get the minority report pulled already, it's an exercise in futility. These are the very same people that want a CEO to run the country like a business. Guess what, the CEO and board of directors has decided what's best. The worker bees are going to be silenced. I wonder how they feel now that they've found out that they are "you people."

I would love nothing more than to see a floor fight and honestly who can blame the party operatives for wanting to keep the "true conservative" nutiness out of the decision process. Truth is though, they have a point. A representative democracy is not a corporation. Making decisions is a messy process by design. If they let this happen, they cede their voice to the RNC.

Grab your popcorn, this ought to be good.

12:14 PM PT: Word on twitter is that they have now secured enough signatures to force the minority report to the floor.

UPDATE FROM TWITTER:

Looks like it was filed at 3:44 Eastern. 3 minutes before the deadline to submit the signatures. Let the fireworks begin.

1:36 PM PT: Wow. They just passed the rules without taking up the minority report. People on the floor were yelling for a point of order but were completely ignored. Not sure what happens next.

It's over. The rules were adopted. The RNC now has the right to change anything they want to after the convention is over.  I have to say I'm stunned at the brazen way it was done even by GOP standards. If you haven't yet checked out #rncpowergrab on twitter, do it now. They are in full melt-down.  

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