Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): GOP Convention

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

GOP Convention

This weekend, a group of Republicans will gather in Hutchinson for the annual Kansas GOP Convention.

I have not yet decided whether I will go. If it were closer, I'd be more likely to attend, but given the distance and that there are so many things about it that drive me absolutely bonkers, I don't know that I will.

I'm assuming nearly everyone that reads this blog has attended the KS GOP Convention in the past. If not, here's a brief primer: Absolutely no business will actually occur. Well, that's not exactly true. A new chair will be elected, but don't kid yourself if you think that choice wasn't scripted years ago.

That's not a dig on Kelly Arnold. He seems like a nice guy and he has great hair. It's just the nature of the political beast.

And I guess that's why I'm not a big fan of the Republican convention. It's awfully scripted and Establishment-y.

At face value, here's what will occur during the convention: Several politicos will host hospitality rooms. For example, Sen. Jerry Moran will host a room in which he will provide, I don't know, sodas and cookies. He and his staff will be in the room chatting and networking. Down the hall, other politicians and political groups will be doing the same.

If I attend, I can promise my favorite rooms will be the room hosted by the motorcycle guys and the black Republicans. Sadly, I have no idea what the motorcycle lobbying group is called, but they always have beer and unlike the rest of the rooms, it will not be a stuffy affair. My second favorite room will belong to the black Republicans. This group, of which there are a handful, will offer excellent soul food and live music.

I'm going to sound like a bad person, but the rest of the rooms will be filled with the types of people the media always uses to portray Republicans. Think Michael Alex P. Keaton.

I am 100 percent positive the Democrat convention, known as Washington Days, is way more fun. (That may be because in Kansas they're perpetual losers with nothing to lose by having a little fun, but still... I've seen the photos. They have a party.) The Republicans have Buffy, Mitzy and their husbands crowded around a punch bowl talking about investment portfolios. (That is a complete exaggeration, but you get the idea.)

If I could truly change one thing about the Republican Party, it would be the organization's outreach to regular, everyday people, most of whom in Kansas at least, share its values. However, the conventions are used for the Establishment folks to shore up their bases. When Tea Party groups and grass roots people crash the party, there's a lot of eye rolling and sighs from (most) of the politicians themselves and their staffers. I challenge you to watch the micro-expressions when someone in jeans walks up to them at the convention.

So, I haven't decided whether I will attend this weekend's non-festivities. It's good for gossip, but not particularly good for my soul!

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