| You know things are bad when even delegates at the Republican National Convention are complaining about the event's elitism. And thanks to a change enacted by the RNC Rules Committee last week that enables presidential candidates to replace grassroots delegates with party loyalists, members of the Texas and Maine delegations are revolting.
In the week before the election, the Rules Committee enacted a measure enabling presidential candidates to "veto" elected delegates, to be replaced with anyone of their choosing. Being an elected delegate for, say, Ron Paul, would not necessarily allow you to support Paul at the convention. Candidates can essentially stack the convention with major donors and loyalists and replace delegates whose allegiances may not lie solely with the party's nominee.
In a rare populist move, members of the Texas Republican delegation (of the Ron Paul variety) are revolting against the rule, saying it'll stack the deck against grassroots activitists. According to Salon, "Currently, campaigns don't have much say over who comes to nominate them at the convention, and delegates are often the on-the-ground grass-roots activists who put in the most time and shoe leather to support the party. But members of the Texas delegation, and they say other delegations as well, worry the new rule would change that."
And providing an unlikely ally to the Texas delegates, the Maine Ron Paul delegation walked off the floor as well. From the Los Angeles Times:
"Several members of the Maine delegation walked out of the Tampa Bay Times Forum after the convention affirmed the GOP's decision to replace 10 of Maine's 24 delegates. 'It's a disgusting, disgusting display of a hostile takeover from the top down,' said Ashley Ryan, 21, a Maine delegate. 'It's an embarrassment.' Paul did not win a single state, but his ardent followers worked arcane local and state party rules to take over several state delegations, including garnering 20 of Maine's 24 spots. The RNC decided to replace 10 of them, effectively stopping the state from being able to submit Paul's name for nomination.
So maybe grassroots Republicans don't come to mind when imagining the RNC attendees. But they're out there - and they're mad. And while they don't want to point fingers at Romney, they do want to point out that this has never happened before.