Generally, being a member for your state of either the Democratic or Republican National Committees seems to be a job that appeals to limelight hogs and professional courtiers. It attracts those ambitious to make the national scene and willing to help control their neighbors in the interests of the Beltway. Such ideological transmission as occurs is usually from DC outwards.
This was not apparently explained to Randy Pullen, RNC member from Arizona.
He has presented the Republican Establishment with an enormous headache for the Committee's winter meeting next Thursday and Friday - January 19-20 - by gathering
enough signatures to engineer a vote next week on a resolution that calls for tougher immigration and border enforcement, and opposes a guest-worker plan in what could be a head-to-head showdown on President Bush's signature immigration proposal…Mr. Pullen, by obtaining 10 sponsors, guarantees that his resolution will be considered by the full RNC.RNC member calls for anti-illegals vote, By Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, January 13, 2006
Pullen can shoot straight, telling the newspaper:
"It's pretty clear where the American public is on this issue — they want the border fixed. They want the government to do something about employers who hire illegal workers. I believe that's essentially where the Republican Party is"
Perhaps explaining the facts of RNC life to Pullen just did not work. He gained his RNC slot at swordpoint, defeating a long- term incumbent in 2004, greatly annoying the Arizona GOP Chairman in the process. And he was Chairman of the succesful effort to pass Proposition 200 that fall.
Maybe Pullen actually cares about issues!
Other than the fact that the fate of the American nation is at stake, the behavior of the other RNC members is somewhat comic. The two that the Washington Times found with the courage to admit they co-sponsored Pullen, Calfornia's Barbara Alby and Colorado's Bob Schaffer, appear to be quaking with fear as they try to fudge their support.
Predictably, the Texan/ Bush National Committeeman, Bill Crocker, is laboring in the White House vineyard for covert amnesty, offering
a competing resolution that endorses a "functional guest worker program…Mr. Pullen said he will oppose Mr. Crocker's resolution because of the guest-worker language.”(email Crocker)
Long-time Conservative Establishment luminary Morton Blackwell, of Virginia, almost seems to be working both sides. Saying
"What needs to be done for the country and what needs to be done for the president is to secure the borders, and after we have done that, then we can deal with the other issues,"
adding that he has conveyed a similar message to the White House.
Blackwell nevertheless dodged co- sponsoring the resolution.
Actions speak, rather than words. This is not quite what might have been hoped for, given Blackwell's beginnings as a valiant Goldwater man in solidly Democratic Louisiana.
Huge pressure is no doubt being brought right now on the co-sponsors to drop out, and to defeat the resolution. The Bush Administration has a lot to lose - this could be very embarrassing.
The RNC is not forthcoming with the identity of its National Committee members, but their names at least can be found on the state party web sites.
Applaud Randy Pullen