The MRC (Manchester Republican Committee) Facebook Squabble

NH-GOP_logoSomeone thought it would be appropriate to put a link on the MRC Facebook page to my recent observations about Jennifer Horn and her abrupt 180 on the Fiscal Cliff deal. (She seemed offended by the “deal” until after someone told her Senator Kelly Ayotte voted for it.  It then became “the best we could do under the circumstances.”)

I beg to differ on “the best we could do scenario” but that is hardly the point today.  I wanted to remark on my post being linked up on GOP Facebook pages and the dust up that followed.

This all started when someone at the Derry GOP Town committee Facebook page posted an update (Jan 2, 1:53pm) with a link to the above mentioned article. There are no comments on the Derry page but three people shared the link.  It then shows up at the MRC Facebook page and an enthusiastic debate ensued.

Some suggested that it was inappropriate for someone to put a link to that post on the Manchester Republican Committee page though no such remarks appear on the Derry committee page.  The discussion on the MRC page included observations about the link, deleted comments, and a side discussion erupted on Nick Pappas’ Facebook page including comments from people who said their updates were deleted from the MRC page and that they themselves were removed from that group along with their remarks.

I can’t tell town and city committees what links to share nor would I, but as a blogger I’d like to make a suggestion.  If you put it there, or let it be put there, have the stones to let everyone have their say even when you disagree.  Vulgar or insulting language should be edited or if that is not an option (and it is not an option on Facebook) it should be deleted.  If you delete someone else’s update or delete a post or link entirely, you should post an update stating as much and why, because that is equally suitable material for debate.   And only under the most extreme circumstances would I ever ban someone unless they were irascible, intolerant, vulgar, and refused to be civil.

There was, as I mentioned above, some debate about the suitability of the linked content for a Republican Committee page.   I’m of a mixed mind about that.  I can see where it could be construed as showing favoritism toward one candidate or the other but we are talking about candidates for party Chairman not elected political office.  So I am wondering where online it is appropriate to quote and question the things these candidates do or say.  Are committee pages just Potemkin villages for re-posting calendar events or attaboys?

If you limit debate to closed conversations, private pages, emails, and the proverbial smokey backroom, are you entrenching the perception that positions of power are arranged and open opposition is only permissable in hushed and meaningless whispers?

It’s not really my problem.  I have an open forum where I defend the right of opposing thought, encourage, and even invite it.  But you might want to consider who benefits from stifling debate, and more importantly, whether a race for chairman should be handled the same way as a public political office.  They are not the same thing.

As for my specific observations about the Horn Flip flop, I quoted her observations.  I reminded folks that a staffer of Senator Ayotte was implicated in using intimidation to clear the field for Jennifer.  I pointed out that the person who provided the status update indicating that Ayotte had voted for the cliff deal had their update removed and was unfriended from her page.

I can’t find Joe’s comment or link so it appears that this was removed along with Joe.  That could suggest that observations or input from certain wings of the party might not be tolerated in her NH-GOP; that’s the party where a US Senator’s staffer threatens to make sure the party money dries up if her opponent wins.  See where I’m going with this?

I invited objections and did not receive any but then how do you object to your own words and actions?  You would have to be a Democrat to get away with that.  Of course someone at the MRC removing updates and deleting people from the Facebook Group as a result suggests either irony or turnabout given that Horn did exactly that herself.

So where are we?

I have no idea.  I’m a registered Republican but I don’t worry when I’m not invited to any party reindeer games. I am not climbing any ladders, looking to shake the right hands, or posting pictures of myself being seen with all the right people.

I strenuously object to deleting comments, censorship, and censorship of convenience in particular, but we covered that already.

I will tell you that I think the obsession with New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary is a debilitating albatross that keeps the well heeled backroom establishment folks (and their rising camp followers) on the invite lists to all the best parties with all the right people, but does little or nothing to help us raise more money to elect Republicans in New Hampshire–which, if I am not mistaken, is the actual point of the state party in the first place.

Sure, we get to fill hotel rooms with campaign staffers and media hacks for a few months, and the sunlight shines a little brighter on the words of every political pundit or diner occupant with two thoughts to rub together (including myself), but if that doesn’t help us raise more money or elect more Republicans in New Hampshire, we are nothing more than quadrennial reality show rejects chasing photo-ops and hand shakes for our scrap-books and Facebook pages, for no tangible long term advantage.

I think the chairman and most key executive committee members should be paid and held to account for the salary they earn.  They should be able to raise enough money to pay staffers to compete with our opponents and if they can’t the voting members should be asking why, and asking it on town and city committee Facebook pages where open and honest debate produces something other than in inter-party enemies list for the lever pullers.

I think whatever we’ve been doing all these years is not working.  (If you don’t believe me ask any Republican candidate for Governor of New Hampshire in the past decade and a half.)

I think the voting committee members tried to make changes in 2010 but the gate-keepers crushed that attempt at some fresh air because it was a threat to their cozy relationships with people who are important to the national party but don’t really give a damn about the internal success of the NH-GOP or its  local candidates.

I think they are still playing the same games now and will continue to do so unless the voting members flush out the state level Executive committee members (including county committee leaders) who are more concerned with who we know than how we get back to winning.

We can either continue to shake the same hands, get out pictures taken with the same people, and kiss the same asses, and expect different results, or we can do something different.

If you have not figured it out yet, I’m on the side of something different.