Why I’m Being Unconventional

Ken Cuccinelli accepts the 2009 nomination for Attorney General.

Ken Cuccinelli accepts the 2009 nomination for Attorney General.

The Virginia GOP Convention starts today and some 13,000 delegates will nominate the party’s candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General.

Well, okay, some 12,999 delegates. I’m not going.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m interested in who will win the nomination. Obviously, Ken Cuccinelli will be nominated for governor, and I’m hoping Mark Obenshain will win the nomination for Attorney General. I’m undecided for Lt. Governor although I know three of the seven candidates would never get my vote, possibly not even in the general election. And while my heart may be with my friend Senator Steve Martin, I don’t hold out much hope for him getting the nomination.

Like I said, I’m not going.

The truth is I just don’t have the time. My second show of the season opens tonight (Play On! at CAT Theatre) and I start rehearsals for my next show on Monday night. In the meantime, I’m trying to make this writing thing work. Combine all of that with life’s general duties and I just don’t have the time. My yard is in desperate need of some weeding. And I still don’t have the garden out (note to self: buy mature plants).

But it’s more than just the time thing. I could make time to go, if I wanted to.

See, while I don’t think I could ever call myself an independent, I think I’m becoming more of a non-partisan. At least someone who doesn’t want to work within the party structure. I may or may not support certain candidates, but I don’t want to play in the reindeer games.

It started several months back. I was already weary from the 2012 election. I worked hard for both Mitt Romney and George Allen. The losses were disappointing. And looking at today’s headlines and being able to say “we told you so” doesn’t really make up for that disappointment.

So, I was weary when the whole Bill Bolling/Ken Cuccinelli scenario was playing out. A few years back, Bolling’s people managed to orchestrate a vote for the party to have a primary this year. Then last year, Bolling got out snookered by the Cuccinelli people and suddenly we’re back to a convention. Knowing he couldn’t win a convention fight, Bolling dropped out of the race.

Then he took his marbles. But he didn’t go home.

In fact, since he withdrew from the race Bolling has been setting himself up to play the spoiler in the race. It’s like he believes if Ken Cuccinelli loses he will be vindicated. He hasn’t endorsed Cuccinelli and this week announced his Virginia Mainstream Project which will work to put moderate Republicans in office. The announcement came two days before the convention. That timing was not a coincidence.

Then there’s the whole tax-portation bill. After working our backsides off to put a conservative in the Governor’s mansion and have a conservative General Assembly, the Republicans raised our taxes to (supposedly) pay for transportation.

The Lt. Governor’s race has just been downright ugly. You can read about it over at Virginia Virtucon and Bearing Drift.

I believe in the Republican values that say we’re supposed to be better than that. Obviously we’re not.

A confirmation that I’ve made the right choice about the convention came by way of Melissa Kenney. She was signed up to be a delegate, but if she wanted to bring her seven children to the convention to learn about the political process, she’d have to pay $25 per child. That’s $175. She’s also staying home.

Steve Martin found out about the provision the hard way as well when he was told he’d have to pay $45 to allow his grandchildren to be on the stage with him at the convention.

I know conventions are expensive. I used to plan them. On a side note, why the GOP has never hired me to plan them, I just don’t know. Not that I’m bitter about that. It’s their loss.

But charging delegates, and candidates for-crying-out-loud, to bring their children and grandchildren just seems rather cheap and tacky.

Maybe it’s not just about being too busy. Maybe I just don’t want to be a part of this anymore.

I will admit to being somewhat torn. The issues matter to me. The elections matter to me.

I’ve come to the point where I just can’t be a party cheerleader. I can’t just repost the press releases and the YouTube videos and pretend our candidates are flawless. I can’t quite fathom another presidential election year where I’m not convinced about the candidate until way after the nominating convention.

That’s not the case this year. I’m actually excited about Ken Cuccinelli being governor and Mark Obenshain being Attorney General. And, unless something stupid happens, I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to be excited about the next Lt. Governor.

But I weary of the process. Daily I’m tossing about a dozen campaign mailers into the trash. The majority of them are unread.

We don’t even think about answering the house phone.

After the balloons have dropped, the signs have been swept away and the lights are turned out on the 2013 Virginia GOP convention, I may regret not having been there.

Or not.

Cross posted at The Jeffersoniad.

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