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Audio: John Fredericks vs. David Ramadan Shouting Match Erupts Over “Loyalty Pledge” for 2016 Virginia GOP Presidential Primary

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If you want to understand the increasingly vitriolic fight within the Republican Party over whether voters in the 2016 Virginia GOP primary will have to sign a “statement of affiliation” (aka, a “loyalty oath”), you absolutely have to listen to this audio from the John Fredericks Show from right before Christmas. What you’ll hear is a heated shouting match between Virginia Del. David Ramadan (R), who is stepping down as the end of his current term in a few days, and right-wing talk radio host John Fredericks. Among the “highlights” are the following.

  • Ramadan completely, utterly fails to make any sort of coherent argument, and when demolished by John Fredericks in this debate, fails to even realize he’s been completely owned.
  • Fredericks correctly points out that this will be a “state-run primary funded by taxpayer dollars,” yet an individual coming to vote will be turned away from the polls if they are not willing to sign the Republican Party’s “statement of affiliation.”
  • Ramadan’s only real argument is that the GOP makes the rules for the party (actual Ramadan quote: “we made the rules because we made the rules”), and if people don’t like those rules, well then “too bad.”
  • Ramadan further argues that only “members” of the Virginia GOP should be allowed to vote in the presidential primary on March 1. Problem is, in Virginia we don’t have party registration, so what does it even MEAN to be a “member” of a party? Is the GOP primary intended only for state and/or local Republican Party officials? What’s that, a few thousand people in a state of 8+ million? And if the intent really is to limit participation in choosing the Republican 2016 presidential nominee, then why didn’t Virginia Republicans choose to hold a party-organized-and-paid-for convention, rather than a taxpayer-funded, statewide primary? Bizarre.
  • Fredericks correctly points out that Republicans can’t win the White House unless they broaden their “tent” beyond just core Republican Party members and let in GOP-leaning independents, etc. Ramadan has no answer to that one, of course, but basically doubles down and says that the March 1 GOP primary should only be open to people willing to “show up every month…to your local committee meeting” and “not just once every four years.” OK, show of hands: how many of you show up “every month” to your local party committee meeting? Yep, we’re talking VERY few people here; I know I wouldn’t qualify based on these criteria.
  • In response to Fredericks (correctly) telling Ramadan that what he’s saying is “mumbo-jumbo gobbledegook,” Ramadan goes ad hominem, telling Fredericks to put on his “big pants” (presumably Ramadan means “big BOY pants,” but whatever), that Fredericks is “whining” and that he has lost his “common sense.” Strong argument there by Ramadan, huh? NOT!
  • Fredericks correctly states that this is about the “average individual” who doesn’t go to party committee meetings every month, but just wants to vote in the Republican primary on March 1 — “the very voters that have abandoned your party, that you need in order to win in November.” (Of course, as a Democrat, I’m thrilled to see the Virginia GOP alienate these people by the tens of thousands, so fine…go right ahead!)
  • Fredericks correctly points out that the Republican-controlled General Assembly has failed to pass legislation requiring party registration in Virginia.
  • Fredericks asks if Ramadan is “insane.” I mean, I’ve thought that for a long time about Ramadan’s political views, but I also agree with Fredericks on this one: can you imagine the anger that’s going to ensue when a Tea Partier, Trump supporter, etc. walks in (possibly after driving for a while to get to the poll, maybe waiting in line, etc.), all enthused to vote on March 1, and is told “sorry, we will NOT give you a ballot, go home?” Now that truly IS insane, unless the Virginia GOP’s goal is to royally alienate potential GOP voters for November 2016.
  • Just to piss off Tea Partiers, Trump supporters, etc. even more, Ramadan proceeds to rip “populism,” claiming it’s “not conservativsm.” I’m sure THAT will go over well with populist conservatives in Virginia. Uh huh.
  • Fredericks says that Ramadan has admitted this whole effort is aimed at stopping Trump, that Ramadan only wants the “inside baseball” folks to be able to vote. 
  • Fredericks practically screams at Ramadan, “IT’S NOT YOUR PARTY, IT’S THE PARTY OF THE PEOPLE!” Fredericks also reiterates that the Virginia GOP is excluding, alienating, and pissing off the very people (independent conservatives, Tea Partiers, etc.) the GOP is going to need to win in November 2016. Again, as a Dem I love this, so please proceed! 🙂
  • Last but not least, Fredericks correctly predicts that “the PR nightmare you’re going to have on your hands is unbelievable.”
Anyway, that’s a summary, but check out the audio as it’s highly entertaining. And oh yeah, as Democrats, let’s all root for this bitter internecine feud to continue and even escalate in coming weeks. Just make sure you’re well stocked up on popcorn and corn oil! 🙂