Friday night, I received a disturbing email from Tom Gear. My first question was, “Who the hell is Tom Gear and why is he sending me spam?” He titled it “To the Woodshed”, because apparently he hopes to take various elements of the Republican Party that he doesn’t like for a good spanking.
The target of his ire on that day was the new 7th District Chairman, Fred Gruber, whose personal life is apparently open for scrutiny now.
Gear made various accusations about Gruber’s personal life. Now, I don’t know if they are true or not. Personally, I don’t care- it’s a party position, not an elective one, and nearly everyone has some sort of baggage if you’ve lived at all.
The thing that concerns me most is, why the heck is this in my inbox, why should I care, and why is Tom Gear perusing porn sites to make these tawdry claims against a man he’s never met? Does he hope to take Fred Gruber “to the woodshed” for a good spanking?
And this brings me to my larger point: The Republican Party in Virginia is in a world of trouble.
But it’s not trouble from bad leadership. It’s trouble from one faction who would rather destroy the party completely so that they could pick through the ruins, than share power with anyone else.
Now, if you’ve read my articles before, you know I see the party as a coalition of about 9 different factions, and without all of them we have no real chance of winning. So any attempt to “drive out” any faction is a self-defeating exercise.
What is the point of a party? It is a group of people of like goals and principles who come together to advance candidates and policies that they agree on. Persuant to this, there may be contested races for nominations from time to time. That is part of the process. But once there is a nominee- we are bound to support that nominee.
That, or don’t bother participating in the process!
Look around us now. We have supporters of a losing candidate in the 7th district evacuating all the money from that district rather than letting the winning Chairman have a say in its distribution. That is flat out being a sore loser- and is destructive to the party.
The people involved are smarter than this- they know the optics, they know that everyone sees it for what it is. Their lame attempts to justify this action only drew the attention of the Washington Post, who was all too happy to write about the self-immolation of the party.
We also have a shadowy un-transparent “VAGOPnow.org” group launching ad hominem attacks against Republicans. Thankfully most of these end up in the spam box, where they belong.
We have supporters of other candidates in the 10th district withholding support for the GOP nominee there too. Why? Did you not participate in the process? Does that not bind you to the same party principles I outlined above?
The attempts at personal destruction of Fred Gruber are most disturbing. Personal attacks, people don’t forget- or forgive. Attempts to besmirch reputations, people don’t forget. That is the kind of thing that destroys a party.
I know there are a relatively few losing consultants and bad actors responsible for the turmoil we now see. I know who this bad behavior is coming from- and that they don’t care if they destroy the party, alienate our base, lose key elections like the 7th and the 10th and the Senate seat with this nonsense.
I have no doubt that this blog will cause these bad actors to target me with personal attacks too, so let me save you the trouble: I have worked as a consultant, I have been through a painful divorce, and I have been unhappy with this brewing civil war since 2012. But I also own a 17-5 record in races I have run, and have been calling for an end to these kind of dirty pool tactics against fellow Republicans for a LONG time.
So Tom Gear, I will ask you to cease your woodshed spankings. I will ask the 7th District Committee to respect the will of the activists in the 7th district and give its duly elected Chairman a fair shot. And I will ask the personal and vituperative attacks against party faithful and candidates to stop.
Everyone who participates in this garbage at this point is only weakening the party. Some of you are looking to do that. But for those who want something different, including candidates and party leaders, it’s time to police our own and take out the trash.