I’ve posted this in the comments below the posts each side of the argument has made, but it’s worth posting again in a larger format. And it’s this: I have no problem with the Hayride being the forum in which this controversy is hashed out, but I would ask that since everybody associated with it is a Republican and by and large agrees on how to solve most of the world’s problems we do what we can to keep it civil.
And I would also ask that we try as hard as we can to stick to the question of the LAGOP bylaws controversy, rather than engage in a lot of personal stuff. Food fights might be great for web traffic, and since this isn’t an election year I’m a big fan of things that generate web traffic for the site, but the only people who profit from a bunch of Republicans at each other’s throats in a personal way are Democrats.
What are we talking about here? Well, earlier this week Charlie Davis, who is a friend of mine and who has done a lot to help grow the Hayride and who has earned the privilege to blog on here anytime he wants – and who has contributed some very useful content here as well – and who happens to be one of those crazy Ron Paul guys sometimes, put up a post about some changes the Louisiana Republican Party has proposed at its most recent State Central Committee meeting.
Most of these changes, in Charlie’s opinion, indicated a move toward something less than transparency in the LAGOP’s governance.
Charlie’s post irritated some of the powers that be within the party, as one might imagine, and Scott Wilfong, the head of the party’s rules committee, asked to have the floor for a rebuttal. And yesterday we published it.
Wilfong’s post got a little chippy about Charlie’s role within the party and suggested that at some point he was issued a cease and desist order by the LAGOP, something Charlie hotly disputes. My investigation into that charge hasn’t turned up much more than a kinda-sorta-yeah-maybe interpretation of it at best, and I’m a little uncomfortable with having that flaming arrow flying across this site.
Charlie posted a rebuttal to Wilfong’s rebuttal this morning and denied he was given a C&D. Wilfong, as always, is welcome to offer a response.
For my part, I’m going to stay as neutral as possible on this. I was at the Central Committee meeting that day, and I spoke to the assemblage about the @large conference that I’m helping to organize in an effort to drum up attendance and raise a few bucks. When the fight over the bylaws was going on, I was outside the room pressing the flesh with folks who were interested in helping with the conference.
All I knew was that there were people in that room not happy with some of the changes to the bylaws and a little miffed that they couldn’t see the old bylaws and the new bylaws side-by-side to see what the changes are. And Wilfong was explaining that the reason he didn’t have all the underlines and strikethroughs available is that he was presenting a whole new set of bylaws. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the specifics or the substance of the fight; I didn’t have time and still don’t.
As such, my take on this isn’t all that different from my take on the other food fight going on within the Republican Party; namely, the mess between the Fiscal Hawks and the Governor over the budget. All I ask is that conservative principles be adhered to where they apply, and that the parties come to a good faith settlement of their differences. Can’t we all just get along?
And yes. I feel like Rodney Freakin’ King in saying that, although nobody’s beaten me up yet and I definitely haven’t gotten to be in a bad-ass car chase.
So – and this applies not just to Charlie Davis and Scott Wilfong, but to all the readers and commenters as well – let’s have a debate, but keep it clean and on topic. The management will not be pleased at having to clean up a food fight, particularly if we end up getting some on us.