Much ado has been made concerning rule changes which occurred to the Republican National Committee rules Tuesday at the convention in Tampa. Some of the issues can be mind-numbingly boring but I will try to break it all down here for those interested.

Report from CNN:

The days-long fight reached climax just hours after the Tuesday RNC session began, with supporters of the rules cheering their adoption and opponents booing against them. Moments before, some delegates even laid out angry – yet unsubstantiated – claims of meddling to keep a delegates away from a committee vote.

At issue: two rules dubbed Rule 16 and Rule 12.

The first is a compromise of an earlier proposal, named Rule 15, that was vehemently opposed by many grassroots activists, including many Ron Paul supporters. It addresses delegate selection in future Republican presidential primaries – instituting stronger enforcement mechanisms to compel delegates to vote as they are bound by their states. In the original proposal, future presidential candidates would have had veto power over who could become a delegate.

The second rule concerns the RNC’s ability to change its rules in between its conventions.

Both rules were adopted on the convention floor by a voice vote. Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, chairman of the Rules Committee and a top surrogate for Romney, presented the rules. House Speaker John Boehner held the audible floor vote to adopt them.

Though the voices “for” and “against” sounded about the same, Boehner declared: “The ayes have it.”

That caused opponents on the floor to erupt in a chorus of boos.

At issue is the voice vote presided over by Speaker John Boehner which appears to show, at minimum, an equal split between the Ayes and Nos and, at worst, shows the Nos sounding a little bit louder. Listening to the clip below, it sounded to me that the Nos did squeak out a decibel or two above the Ayes.

As expected, the grassroots GOP leaders expressed displeasure:

Sarah Palin reacted to the original measure on her Facebook page Monday night.

Calling it a “controversial rule change” that is “so very disappointing,” Palin added: “It’s a direct attack on grassroots activists by the GOP establishment, and it must be rejected.”

Some delegates reacted angrily to the committee passage of Rule 16.

“This takes us away from state sovereignty,” said Colorado delegate Florence Sebern. “It takes us away from local control in our states. And it moves us towards, as a Republican Party, central control and top-down decisions. That’s what this is.”

“Are we the Republican Party?” she added.

However, as you heard in the video clip, there was a lot of support for the rule changes as well:

A delegate from Utah, who supported the rule, also reacted.

“Rule 16 preserves the rights of the states to determine the way they select their delegates to the national convention,” Bruce Hough said. “It gives the complete sovereignty to the states – as it has now – to make those determinations.”

Whether these changes will truly result in drastic changes come 2016 remains to be seen. For now, at least, the changes mean nothing for the 2012 cycle.


  1. Point of order:

    If there is a voice vote, if the affirmative is “aye,” it is my understanding that the appropriate negative is “nay,” not “no” which is harder go vocalize with volume. I hate to give Boehner any ideas, but why not just tell those who are opposed to shake their heads??

    Roberts Rules of Order:

    It is my understanding that if a voice vote is not overwhelmingly aye or Nay, the chair is obliged to ask for a roll call vote. Likewise, if there is an objection to the conclusion by the chair, he is obligated to call for a roll call vote. The heavy round of boos are a clear objection.

    The Republican Establishment: destroying democracy one day at a time.


    Rule 16(a)(2).
    For any manner of binding or allocating delegates under these Rules, if a delegate
    (i) casts a vote for a presidential candidate at the National Convention inconsistent with the delegate’s obligation UNDER STATE LAW OR [STATE] PARTY RULE,
    (ii) nominates or demonstrates support under Rule 40 for a presidential candidate other than the one to whom the delegate is bound or allocated under UNDER STATE LAW OR [STATE] PARTY RULE, or
    (iii) fails in some other way to carry out the delegate’s affirmative duty under UNDER STATE LAW OR [STATE] PARTY RULE to cast a vote at the National Convention for a particular presidential candidate,
    the delegate shall be deemed to have concurrently resigned as a delegate and the delegate’s improper vote or nomination shall be null and void. Thereafter the Secretary of the Convention shall record the delegate’s vote or nomination in accordance with the delegate’s obligation under UNDER STATE LAW OR [STATE] PARTY RULE. This subsection does not apply to delegates who are bound to a candidate who has withdrawn his or her candidacy, suspended or terminated his or her campaign, or publicly released his or her delegates.


    James Bopp Jr. NCM IN Vice Chairman Republican National Committee Cindy Costa NCW SC
    Bob Bennett Chairman Ohio Republican Party
    John Ryder NCM Tenn.
    Ron Kaufman NCM Mass.
    Henry Barbour NCM Miss.


    In other words, it is now up to people in each state
    to take over the State party machinery and give its delegates integrity.

    If the State party establishment changes the rules
    in order to maintain hegemony,

    the people of each state should pass a law that says that
    delegates to the Republican National Convention may vote their conscience.

  3. Rule 12:

    I haven’t been able to find the exact wording, but here’s a comment from MOrton Blackwell, national committeeman from Virginia:

    Proponents of the “compromise” ignore the enormously destructive problem of the proposed Rule 12. Rule 12 would enable 75% of the Republican National Committee later to eliminate their “compromise” and to destroy or make drastic changes in dozens of other rules which have served our party well over the years.

    In practice, Rule 12 would enable an RNC chairman to enact almost any rules change he or she desired, because an RNC chairman already has so much power and influence that he or she can almost always can get 75% or more of the RNC members to vote for or against anything. A chairman already has the enormous “power of the purse,” and should not have also the power to change party rules at will.

    There is already quite enough power flow from the top down in our party. Instead of approving more power grabs, we should be looking for ways for more power to flow from the bottom up. That’s how to attract more participants into our party.


    It seems to me, a party should NOT be allowed to change rules in the MIDDLE of an election cycle, just like we don’t allow Congress to vote itself a change in pay during that term. Seventy-five percent sounds like a big number, but we’re talking about a pack of sycophants, not thinking people.

  4. Everybody knew this is how it was going to go down at the convention. The GOP Establishment opted to use cheating and dishonesty, rather than call in the police all decked out in riot gear. I’m sure the TV cameras has a lot to do with that – which I’m sure disappointed the Neo-cons. They just LOVE Blood, especially the Blood of those who disagree with them.

    • The government has always been riddled with incompetent people. If job creation is indeed an issue this guy is the people’s choice with his 47 out of 50 record? ? The worse you treat them, the better they like you.

  5. republicians refused to notice williard romney. fat boy gov. christie was angry while speaking. maybe her was hungry. i did not feel that they lifted romney/ryan up. his wife love him so, it is obvious that she will say the things about him but guess what lady ann, you love williard not us at least not most of us including the republician party and tea baggers.

    • Pete, If you wish to be taken seriously, you must learn proper grammar and pronunciation. You sound illiterate.

      • Tusc:

        At first, I thought Pete was just speaking that way to show disrespect, but I think it’s more likely that Pete has English as a second language. If that’s the case, he’s doing better than we would in any second language.

        • Doesn’t matter, I can understand him and if I need a little help well, Mr. Behr you are there. I have much more trouble with some of the other posters though.

          Travel around the world as much as I have and no matter how broken there English may be you never give it a second thought except along the lines of what you just posted Mr. Behr. Right, try speaking his native language. I have found they can read and understand English a lot better than the spoken part. Oh, I had the most trouble in London. Australia is easy, just the word choice is different.

  6. I was at the National Convention as an Alternate Delegate. The rule change was in the rules book under our seats four hours before bone head Bohener took the stage and quaked at the teleprompter and then went into his robot deal. This was a done deal way long before any vote. The teleprompter was set up to say the ayes have it and bone head read it. The bus hauling the guy from VA who had the signatures spend an hour going around and around the convention. So lets see, lets just all use the same crooked under handed tricks that Obama used to get in so we can get him out. Does that sound right? The Republican Party just destroyed its self. There is no longer a viable way to change the Republican Party from the inside. So let us be done with it. I will vote Gary Johnson in 2012. I am out of the Republican Party. Romney Tea Party supporters are jumping ship even as I write this.

    • Bill:

      Right on. Libertarians should VOTE Libertarian. The problem is not that Willard is not conservative. The problem is that Willard has no permanent ideals, so he’s not going to DO anything.

      The only way we are going to straighten out this country is if we ALL go to third parties and fight for specific ideals. The major parties only refer to issues in order to fuel their fight. They don’t really CARE about those ideals, except as a reason to fight. Because that’s where campaign MONEY comes from, and that’s the “bottom line.”

      If they ever SOLVED anything, they would no longer have that source of money coming in.


      “The GOP is smarter than we”!

      While, We The People, have hopes of saving our Nation — THEY, the GOP Elite, has none.

      We are idealistic — believers that Truth, Liberty and Justice will eventually prevail, thus saving US from imminent economic collapse and the loss of all freedoms!

      The GOP Establishment has no such illusions — THEY want to assure that ONLY THEY and THEIR OWN have first dibs on the choices pieces of meat, when the carving of the American People starts. THEY do not want rejuvenation of the Republican Party, nor is stagnation enough — PURGING is needed, so THEY are first in line to pick our bones clean when the economic collapse starts. (Same goes for the Dems in power).

      We, the Real American People (the producers), are the HOST — and THEY, the Non-Producers, are the Parasites!

      While the Host was strong and healthy in the past — the parasites fed well with little notice on OUR loss.

      But, NOW the Parasites have become GREATER than the HOST — meaning in order to survive, THEY have to suck MORE blood out of US than we can produce for ourselves, let alone THEM.

      Realizing this, THEY are preparing the road ONLY for THEMSELVES and THEIR OWN to strip our carcass clean (after they’ve sucked US dry).

      Now, back to working two jobs Real Americans, so you can produce some more to feed THEM longer…until THEY are finally ready to send you to the glue factory… (“Animal Farm” by George Orwell).

Comments are closed.