The GAGOP Caucus Race
“What is a Caucus-race?” said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.
“Why,” said the Dodo, “the best way to explain it is to do it.” (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)
First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (“the exact shape doesn’t matter,” it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no “One, two, three, and away,” but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out “The race is over!” and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, “But who has won?”
– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter III
I distinctly remember the question being asked by our speaker at my first Young Republican Leadership Conference in Washington, DC in the spring of 2004, “What is the purpose of the Young Republicans?”
I was currently serving as one of the Vice-Chairs of the Young Republican National Federation having been elected at the YR National Convention the year before. The answer seemed obvious to me and the other young, optimistic, Young Republicans in the room.
The Young Republican leaders assembled in the room offered the following:
- Get more young people involved in Republican politics!
- Provide volunteers for candidates!
- Train the next generation of state GOP leaders!
- and other such interjections.
Our speaker, who had served as a local, state, and national leader of the YRs decades before said an answer that stunned, and even offended many of us…
“The purpose of the Young Republicans is to elect Young Republicans to Young Republican office.”
By the time my tenure in the Young Republicans was coming to a close in the summer of 2016, looking back on how many hours were spent jockeying in the organization over positions and elections, meeting organizations, and YR campaigns for YR office, and how little was focused on winning elections and many of the other endeavors that were thrown out as answers, I came to see that our speaker was mostly correct.
Much has already been written here on Peach Pundit (and here, and here, and…well you can find the other posts) on the decline of the Georgia Republican Party organization. There were always county party organizations that were known more for battling each other than Democrats, but today those county organizations tend to be the norm rather the exception. What’s more, since 2021, the focus of the State Party has been to get in the mud and attack Republican office holders, not for being too moderate or too willing to cozy up to Democrats, but for not going along with crazy conspiracy theories of stolen elections, the World Health Organization taking over mental health in Georgia, Dominion voting machines switching votes, and other such kookiness. Generally, in the past, the State Leadership tended to be the parent in the room, dealing with squabbling county party leadership and getting them to focus not on attacking each other, but combating Democrats.
Maybe it’s because in the 27 years I’ve known David Shafer I have observed that his leadership style has always been to create chaos so squabbling underlings would focus on fighting each other instead of forming a coalition to oust him (a leadership style that many who served with him in the State Senate tell me that he employed to rise through the ranks), or maybe it’s because we have so many in leadership positions who were elected simply on their fidelity to Donald Trump (who has constantly claimed the Republican Party organization failed him) and fanatical embracing of his stolen election mythos rather than rising through the ranks of the Party and understanding the mission, purpose, and function.
When Salleigh Grubbs was elected Chair of the Cobb County Republican Party in 2021 (I was term limited out), she had been a member of the organization since around July 2020. She gained notoriety among the Trump faithful, not for excellent organizational skills or hours spent volunteering, but for chasing a shredding truck through the streets of Cobb County. Her tenure as Chair has been marked by successes like censuring Brian Kemp, holding candlelight vigils for Jan 6 rioters, and losing more elections. She is now the GRA endorsed candidate for Over 80,000 Chair so she can bring those successes to the State Executive Committee.
DeKalb GOP Chair Marci McCarthy (#BeAMarci) after not winning back a single GOP office in DeKalb County, but using her position to openly campaign for David Perdue in the primary against Brian Kemp is not just looking for a promotion as 1st Vice-Chair of the Georgia Republican Party while also continuing to serve as DeKalb GOP Chair. A cardinal rule of the Republican Party has always been that a Party officer was prohibited from using their title to campaign for a candidate in a contested GOP primary, but in the new Georgia Republican Party, the rules don’t matter if you’re sufficiently MAGA (or if Democratic Congressman Hank “Guam is Tipping” Johnson gives you your own holiday). A decade ago, that would have ended a person’s leadership prospects in the GAGOP. Today, it earns you the endorsement of the GRA.
There was, of course, similar wins in the 2023 cycle like CV Dinsmore being elected Chair of the Cherokee County GOP after having joined as a member for Cherokee County GOP approximately two weeks before his election and Kandiss Taylor being elected Chair of the 1st Congressional District Republican Committee. At least Taylor has political “experience” running statewide for both the U.S. Senate and Governor, but something tells me that “standing up to the Luciferian Cabal” will be her primary focus as opposed to helping 1st CD GOP County Parties organize precincts for the 2024 election.
As adherence to the new purity dogma of the GAGOP replaces experienced leadership, those with the experience and knowledge to win elections, as noted by Grifter, and those who understand the singular mission of the Republican Party organization is to help our candidates win, are moving on to focus on what was once the GOP’s purpose, directly helping GOP candidates.
The rest of the GOP organization will be left to engage in a caucus race, like the one witnessed by Alice, which Wiktionary defines as, “A laborious but arbitrary and futile activity; an activity that amounts to running around in a circle, expending great energy but not accomplishing anything.”
For now, that is the direction of much of the Georgia Republican Party organization, an organization whose purpose is no longer to get our nominees chosen by our voters elected, but an organization devoted to, just like I was told about the Young Republicans nearly two decades ago, electing Republican Party members to Republican Party office. Just as with Alice’s caucus race, we don’t know who will win as we look towards the State Party Convention in Columbus, but there will definitely be a loser…Georgia’s candidates who can no longer rely on the Republican Party organization to help them get elected. There are still portions of the organization that understand the party’s mission and are focused on it, but those County Parties and Congressional District organizations are rapidly becoming the exception, not the rule.
But to echo Grifter, frankly, they too will find that they don’t need the GOP.
One Reply to “The GAGOP Caucus Race”
Everything Trump Touches Dies.
He is in the process of finally wrecking the Republican Party, which now has a puncher’s chance of going the way of the Whigs and Federalists. And it will have only taken him eight years to do it.
Anyone who supports Trump now is either evil, stupid, or a combination of both.
The Republican National Committee, in its resolution condemning Cheney & Kinzinger, endorsed mob violence as a means to contest elections. It said the January 6 terrorists were “engaging in legitimate political discourse.”
Erick Erickson and other “conservative Christian Republicans” endorsed baby-killing and wife beating by supporting a brain dead, semi-literate Hershel Walker. Praise Jesus!
How any Republican (I no longer consider myself one, though I voted for Brad, Kemp & Carr,) can support an election denier is beyond me.
The GOP abandoned the “character” issue — hell, ALL of its principles — by forming a cult to Donald Trump. And it deserves all the misery yet to come.