On Saturday, the Georgia GOP will hold their statewide convention in Savannah. Former State Senator David Shafer is one of the three candidates to head the state party. I spoke with Shafer this week at an advance event for the convention. He was gracious. He amassed a good record in the state senate. He seems like a nice guy.
But David Shafer has no business running the state party because he sponsored the National Popular Vote bill, a bill that would existentially devastate the GOP in Georgia — and everywhere else in the United States. Worse, he co-sponsored the bill with our party’s sworn enemies, people like Stacey Abrams and “Venceremos Brigade” Nan Orrock, who was my representative for 20 years, during which time I came to understand very well just how radical she is.
Short of Nan and Stacey donning Guy Fawkes masks and holding Shafer at gunpoint behind an abandoned 7-11 off State Road 16, I can’t for the life of me understand why any member of the GOP would even transitorily entertain supporting the National Popular Vote, let alone sponsor legislation to pass it. So I was curious to get Shafer’s version of events.
When I asked Shafer this week why he had sponsored the National Popular Vote legislation, he said that Newt Gingrich had supported it, and he trusted Newt. It was 2015, he added, a very different political atmosphere than we have today, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. He said he sponsored it along with leftists like Orrock and Abrams because “we sponsor legislation with people from the other side all the time.”
I then asked Shafer how he had come to change his mind and oppose NPV after sponsoring the bill to pass it. He said that State Senator William Ligon (R-3, Brunswick) came to him and explained what was wrong with NPV. “When did that happen?” I asked. Right after he sponsored it, he answered. What he didn’t say is that, despite changing his mind, he didn’t withdraw his name from the bill.
This is a story that needs to be unpacked.
The National Popular Vote is one of those dishonest “3 dimensional chess” schemes that seem to pop up out of nowhere but are actually being pushed by very powerful people behind closed doors and presented to the grassroots as organic social movements. Don’t trust these things. Article V Convention is another one, pushed by the very same people.
These schemes are peddled to the conservative grassroots by people who have no respect for the conservative grassroots. They’re fronted by big GOP names through glittery pseudo-bipartisan nonprofits. The left-wing donors happily put their names on the movement; the libertarian donors hide their donations, and neither the leftists or the libertarians are willing to say where the money is coming from to promote them on the right.
It’s time for the GOP and conservative grassroots to wake up to how they are being manipulated.
Here is a good summary of the NPV scheme. Here is a recent article by Matthew Vadum about the disturbing progress of the NPV movement. Here is a detailed account of the Democrats and leftists, including George Soros’ son, who are helping bankroll NPV. The leftist Tides Foundation, Sandler Foundation, and Silberstein Foundations are all funders.
Why didn’t David Shafer consider this before sponsoring the legislation? Probably because it is being pushed by the libertarians too.
Schemes like NPV always promise a shortcut to circumvent “politics as usual.” But there are no shortcuts to having a winning agenda. Even worse, National Popular Vote is a scheme for eliminating the electoral college while pretending –when addressing the Right — to not be a scheme to eliminate the electoral college. So it isn’t just a dishonest bait and switch foisted on Republicans and conservatives by their own Party thought leaders: it is a dishonest bait and switch foisted on Republicans and conservatives by their own Party thought leaders in cahoots with radical leftists.
The Electoral College Lie
BT (Before Trump), people like Charles and David Koch, the pro-open-borders founders of Club for Growth, still believed they could distract and mislead the conservative citizen grassroots with destructive garbage like NPV. Using ALEC, their state legislative “coalition” actually made up multinational business interests, they pushed NPV with Newt Gingrich as their mouthpiece. In Georgia, Earl Ehrhart, the former national chair of ALEC, led the NPV campaign to convince Republicans and conservatives that NPV was a “state’s rights” movement that would not eliminate the electoral college.
Gingrich and Ehrhart should be ashamed. But if they were capable of shame, they wouldn’t be involved in such things in the first place.
The National Popular Vote movement was founded by John Koza, a computer scientist and Democratic activist. Koza has dedicated his life and fortune to overturning the electoral college. When he talks about NPV to liberals and Democrats, Koza speaks openly about eliminating the electoral college. But because Republicans would not get behind an effort to overturn the electoral college, Koza and his Republican colleagues pretend that NPV would preserve the electoral college when they are speaking to Republicans.
It’s such a stupid lie that it virtually creates its own smokescreen: if you read the literature for NPV with an eye to understanding its effect on the electoral college, you might ask yourself what you’re missing. You’re not missing anything. They’re just lying when they say NPV won’t affect the electoral college.
Understanding NPV is actually very easy. The hard part is comprehending the degree of contempt people like Ehrhart and Gingrich and the Kochs have for ordinary conservative Americans, and how much they’re willing to bed down with leftists and undermine the GOP to enhance their own power.
National Public Vote Tries to Hoodwink the Conservatives
I first started hearing about NPV at TEA Party and GOP meetings around 2015. The usual suspects — Ken Doll-like activists from Koch Foundations — began coming around to groups pushing the NPV scheme. Trump was not yet the candidate (and would never be, if the Ken Dolls had their way), and the GOP was facing a tough primary battle with a huge slate of presidential wannabes. All of these candidates except Trump had the very same mega-donors — Club for Growth, which called everyone from Jeb Bush to Marco Rubio to (sadly) Ted Cruz to John Kasich to Rand Paul and Carly Fiorino to their behind-closed-doors meeting and made them pledge to support CfG’s agenda, which is not publicized but prominently features increased immigration and no border control.
Of course, if Republicans had limited both legal and illegal immigration for the past 30 years, there would be no need to go grasping for fake schemes to try to win-slash-actually-lose the presidency. And of course Trump won our votes largely because he didn’t have to go crawling to Club for Growth and refused to support their open borders agenda.
The National Popular Vote Movement in Georgia
Why does someone like Newt Gingrich push the NPV lie, when it would permanently end Republican hopes of gaining the White House? You’d have to ask him. According to the NPV website — the one that also says NPV will not affect the electoral college — NPV is a “state’s rights” issue because presidential campaigns currently don’t spend money in states that aren’t swing states. Yeah, that’s literally the best argument they can come up with: political advertisers and consultants in some states don’t make enough money in presidential races under the current system. Gingrich is shameless enough to peddle this excuse, but he has other motives as well having to do with positioning Newt Gingrich in the catbird seat even as the country goes up in leftist flames.
Why does Earl Ehrhard push NPV? Because he wants to be Newt Gingrich.
Why did David Shafer push it? Because Newt told him to.
But so did Bernie Sanders, Stacey Abrams, and Nan Orrock. And, bipartisan amity notwithstanding, nobody who thinks inter-party kumbaya is more important than the GOP winning presidential elections should be the chair of the Georgia GOP. Whose job is winning elections. Against Democrats. Including presidential ones. Also, for the GOP, not for Democrats, which apparently needs to be reiterated here.
Somebody at the state convention this weekend needs to ask Shafer why he continued sponsoring the NPV bill after he apparently stopped supporting it. The timeline doesn’t add up. But that’s not really the main point. The main point is that he decided to support the bill in the first place. That demonstrates not only terrible judgment but also contempt for Republican voters. There is simply no way that anybody whose profession is electoral politics could fail to understand the real intent and consequences of NPV legislation.
Unless they’re utterly incompetent to practice electoral politics.
This either/or breakdown is pretty bad.
As a sidenote, Erick Erickson is supporting Shafer for chair of the GOP. He is doing so, he says on the radio, because he believes Shafer is the person who can lead the GOP to the victory it needs in order to be in charge of redistricting in Georgia.
But do we want someone in charge of redistricting who actually fell for or underhandedly pushed the destruction of the electoral college? What sort of sense does that make?