Friday, October 30, 2009

Thoughts on the ousting of Matt Collins

I attended the Davidson County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting Tuesday night and was present for the unpleasantness of the Party beginning the process of ousting the Vice Chairman, Matt Collins . I am not a member of the Executive committee and am still not sure how I would have voted if had I been. I don't criticize those who voted for the motion to begin the ouster process. I have great respect for our Chair Kathleen Starnes and I am sure she felt she had no choice but to pursue this course of action. If I had of been on the Committee, I may have been so unhappy with Matt's conduct that I might have also voted with the majority. Not privilege to all that has gone on informally however, I see this as a premature action. The process should have been slowed down.

If I had of been a member of the Committee, I think I would have moved to recess until the next night or the next week in order to give time for people to reflect on their pending vote, or I would have moved to defer one meeting. Or, I would have moved to amend the motion on the table with a substitute motion that censured Mr. Collins and officially asked him to discontinue his offending actions and conform to the rules established for members of the Executive Committee. Had those motions failed however, I would have probably voted with the two members who voted to abstain.

It is not that I do not think that Matt Collins has been nit-picky, disruptive, uncooperative and acted in ways that are inappropriate. I tend to agree with the list of particulars. The party cannot have the Vice Chairman going out of his way to be rude to Republican candidates for governor and using his position with the party to attack our fine Senator. We need to be fighting Democrats, not our Republican office holders and candidates. Nevertheless, I think less drastic actions could have been taken.

I think Matt has every right to express his opinion, but when one serves in a position of leadership in the Party, I think one must conduct oneself in ways that do not reflect poorly on the Party. There are bylaws that govern what a member of the Executive Committee may and may not do. As far as I can determine, Matt violated those rules. Matt has positions of authority with other political organizations where his advocacy of his point of view is entirely appropriate. I do not think they are appropriate for the Vice Chairman of the Party. At a minimum, if he is going to attack other Republicans, he should not associate his opinion with his position of leadership in the Party. Rather than holding a position of leadership in the Party, Matt might better be suited to sitting at a computer and blogging out "anything he damn-well pleases."

What I wish would happen at this point is that Matt would agree to quietly resign without putting the Party in the embarrassing position of ousting him. Alternatively, I wish he would be contrite and agree to be more circumspect and cooperative in the future and the party would accept that and simply issue a statement that an internal dispute had been resolved in an amicable manner. I don't excuse Matt's conduct, but I was once young and somewhat dogmatic myself. I would like to give him one more chance.

I only got involved in the party this year. I have lived in Nashville most of my adult life and even served in public office for eleven year and actually never even knew there was a Davidson County Republican Party until recently. To say the least, the Party has had a very low profile. This year the party has attracted more members than in its history. There is even consideration of the Party holding a County primary for the first time in any one's memory. There is a new enthusiasm among party activist.

This development to oust the Vice Charmian is certainly bad PR. The press loves conflict. The press will do all they can to keep a good fight going. If it is a slow news day, the hearing may wind up on the 6 O'clock News. This will be the first time that many people have ever even heard of the Davidson County Party. We are a very small minority in this county and we are fighting among ourselves. Is that the image we want to project? That is not a good plan for growth. Maybe, it had to come to this; I don't know, but I hate it.

I know that many of those who are new to the party are Ron Paul supporters and many consider themselves libertarians. I am not in the Ron Paul camp but I think the party is big enough to accommodate that branch of the Party. We don't want to make that faction feel unwelcome. We should be a "big tent" party. If anyone agrees with us on most things, they should be welcome. We do not grow the Party by excluding people. Many will see the move to oust Matt Collins as an attempt to purge the party of Ron Paul Republicans. I don't see it that way, but fear many will.

I still wish there was some way to delay action and resolve this without a public hearing on the 6 o'clock news and splitting the Party.

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  1. Understandably, people are pissed at our government. I know Matt means well. He and I largely agree on the issues, but nobody appreciates a hostile takeover. The paradox is that a few of the ex-Libertarians are acting like Nazis and are giving the rest of the movement a bad name.

    As a governing coalition along side the Christian right and secular right-wingers, adding the libertarian makes sense in order to mitigate the disastrous effects neocons and RINOs have had on our party over the last decade or so.

    Conversely, I think the decision to impeach him is too extreme as well. An official, public censure would serve the DCRPs purpose without stoking enough anger to incite a full-blown revolution, one that is quite likely to fail.

    This would only further delay any chance we have to dispense with our common enemy by bringing the libertarian-wing under the big, GOP tent.

  2. Matt Collins is a proven liar who manufactured falsehoods about the Tea Party Convention.

    See for yourself.

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