The Republican Party is a club. It is a political entity that gets to make its own rules just as the Democrat Party gets to make their own rules. The Republican Party is not the government and those shouting about voter disenfranchisement often mistake this fact. The Republican Party has long abused its party members and forced down their throats unelectable establishment squishes. It’s downright tragic, but it is not an abuse by the government.
That’s not to say that the two parties are always fair. They are remarkably crooked and corrupt and it is the responsibility of the party members to hold them accountable. However, complicated Party rules are a club matter, not a systemic form of oppression akin to governmental efforts to disenfranchise entire populations.
Somehow, though he is inarguably brilliant, this line of logic seems to escape former presidential contender Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has come to endorse Donald Trump.
Even he must have seen how ridiculous his assertion was as he almost-immediately began walking-back his comments.
Carson stated that the RNC rules are rigged in a way to benefit the establishment and well-connected. He’s absolutely right. However, host Andrea Mitchell reminded Carson that the Republican Party is a private institution.
Mitchell read a memo from the RNC to shine a light on the duties of the party.
“The Republican Party, as is the Democratic Party, is a private organization, and so, what their rules are, are set by them. Sean Spicer, the Communications Director for the RNC wrote in this memo, ‘The rules surrounding the delegate selection have been clearly laid out in every state and territory and while each state is different, each process is easy to understand for those willing to learn it.’ Take note—Donald Trump is the P.S., unspoken.”
Carson then went down a weird rabbit hole of logic…
“Yeah, well, you know, during the Jim Crow era, those were the rules too. They were written. Everybody knew about them, didn’t make them right. And I’m not saying this is the same. But, you know, I think you get the point,” Carson said. “Just because rules are there, just because they were written by somebody doesn’t mean that they’re right, doesn’t mean that you can’t re-review the system.”
Again, Jim Crow laws were government-mandated laws designed to deny constitutional rights to blacks in the South. These were not “rules”; they were laws- laws that needed to be changed in order to live up to the protections of the Constitution.
I understand what Carson was attempting to say, but it’s ridiculous. One can compare any perceivably unfair rule to Jim Crow using Carson’s line of “logic.” A store may have an unfair return policy, but it’s a private affair, not a systemic violation of civil rights on a broad governmental level.
If I start a club and say “no white sneakers allowed,” it may be a silly rule and it may even anger people, but that doesn’t make it unconstitutional and it does not represent a grander unfairness that should invite government remedy. If enough people leave my club because of my policy, I must choose to adapt or die.
To be clear: the Republican Party has been engaged in shenanigans for decades. We didn’t want Bob Dole, only kind of wanted George W. Bush, we didn’t want McCain or Romney and yet we were stuck with all of them.
Now, we have a contest between a whining billionaire who seems unwilling or incapable of learning the rules that have long existed and a true constitutional conservative who has chosen to embrace the silly rules and use them to his advantage.
It is far from a perfect system and as soon as someone creates a viable party to overtake the compromised GOP, I’ll be there. Until then, let’s stop whining about poor Donald Trump who is getting out-played.
And for the love of God, don’t let Dr. Carson near a camera again for the foreseeable future. He’s a great man and it pains to watch these failures of logic.