Saturday, March 17, 2007

Can Anyone Crash the GOP Gates?

Why doesn't the Republican Party like its own voters? Why won't the GOP candidates talk to the people who will be making a huge decision next February? Why do the candidates only come to Orange County for the big money, and avoid everyone who could not possibly afford to join the big money at these extravagant fundraisers?

Yesterday, something nasty arrived in lovely Dana Point. OK, something BESIDES the fog and the cold. No, Mitt Romney came to town for another big money fundraiser.

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

Yesterday, Romney hobnobbed with some of Orange County's most powerful people. Perhaps he raised as much money this time as he did last time...

But what about all those Republicans who can't afford these ultra-expensive fundraisers? (And no, not ALL Republicans in Orange County are ultra-rich.) What about the average voters who just want to ask Romney about his position on the Iraq War, or his tax policy, or what he thinks about immigration? Do they have to pay $2,300 just to ask Mitt that question?

When I arrived at the St. Regis yesterday afternoon, I was alone and afraid. I felt like a stranger in a strange land, as I was looking the other side of the driveway at all these glamorously rich people being escorted out of their Rolls Royces and Bentleys and Mercedes. I could not even approach the front entrance to the hotel lobby, as I was afraid that security would toss me out of there, and throw me so far that I'd land right in the middle of all the snarling traffic on PCH. I was out of my place, and I could see it and feel it all around me.

Yes, I know that I probably SHOULD HAVE FELT OUT OF PLACE at the St. Regis last night. I was one of those "commie-loving pinko Demonrats" who was hoping to ask Romney about his "kaleidoscopic view" of the war, as well as his flip-flops on such issues as choice, LGBT rights, and supporting "Demonrats". OK, so I was hoping to stir up a little trouble over there last night...

But what about about all the middle-class Republican voters who might have the same questions that I do? Are they not allowed to question their own leaders? This problem is not just with Romney, but with the entire slew of Republicans who come here for money, but never stay to talk to real people about real issues. On the GOP side, it seems like this race has become a type of "aristocratic primary" where only the rich and well-connected can participate, while everyone else is stuck out in the cold, alone and afraid, trying to look in.

I guess it's somewhat like the way the GOP has governed this nation for the last six years. But will anyone be able to crash these gates and let the common folks into the GOP primary process?

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