Once you know you’re a whore, all that remains is to haggle the price.
I suspect that’s what the county chairmen did Saturday.
At their secret meeting, where they named a congressional candidate, I suspect that was mostly about the price.
What does a congressional nomination cost these days? Is it a bailout of the state Republican Party, or some giant checks to some of the flagging county accounts, maybe a job or two for connected friends and relatives?
How much is it?
Is it still 33 pieces of silver?
I’m talking about the Republican candidacy in the expected April 28 special election to fill the empty seat in the 27th District of New York. That seat came empty because the last guy to buy the nomination turned out to be a crook. That crook got the seat because the guy who bought the nomination before him resigned in disgrace.
To be honest, the Republican bosses of Western New York have a pretty poor record with millionaires named Chris.
But they’ve decide to try another one.
And so it is that Chris Jacobs, part of one of the wealthiest families in the region, will represent the party of Nixon in the special election.
And as a Republican living in the district, this only further alienates me from a party structure that treats working-stiff voters like dirt. The real Republicans I know are people who believe deeply in constitutional principles that are true to our heritage and values. The real Republicans I know are people who are driven politically by their patriotism.
But the whole thing gets a little crazy the higher up the food chain you go. The bigger the title the bigger the ego and the tighter the grip on power. All I ever hear from the Republican Party is that I need to put signs in my yard.
That, and, sit down and shut up.
Sit down and shut up and wait your turn.
That’s what voters and candidates are told across the countryside where I live.
Nothing speaks so loudly in Republican Party circles as a checkbook. And the text messages that bounced around NY27 this weekend mostly focused on when and how much the Chris Jacobs check to the state Republican Party would be. They were messages of rage and resignation. They were a manifestation of the frustration that builds when representative government isn’t.
No, your favored candidate is not always going to win. And, yes, supporting the winner even when it’s not your person is part of being a good citizen.
But when is enough enough? How many times do you bang your head against the brick wall of bossism before you face the facts? For 12 years the Republican bigwigs of Western New York have treated Congress seats like salable commodities, each time turning aside dramatically superior candidates for guys who promised to self-fund and donate big. And this seat having again been sold, to a man with probably 20 work years left in him, you just want to throw up your hands and abandon the fight.
The Republican bosses have thrown aside two decorated war heroes and a nationally prominent conservative female for three vanilla millionaires.
That’s the business as usual of “the chairmen.”
And it will work for them. Run a few ads about guns and supporting President Trump, maybe a reference to the wall or transgender bathrooms, play the audio over a picture of Nancy Pelosi and, wham bam, another Republican victory.
But it will be a manipulation, not a representation.
Because we real Republicans actually believe these things. We’ve lived our lives according to them, we’ve always voted according to them. And we are easily manipulated because of them. Because there is no other choice. Because the Republican has always been better than the socialist. But anymore that’s hard to see. Anymore it’s discouraging, as our idiot versus their idiot doesn’t really seem like electoral choice.
Members of a party that once stood for “Right makes might,” can’t quite wrap their minds around checkbook politics.
But it is what it is.
Chris Jacobs will no doubt be elected, and he will no doubt have a wonderful career.
Until the next millionaire can write a bigger check.