Wisconsin Family Action has heard unofficially that at its annual caucus this morning, the Milwaukee County Republican Party overwhelmingly voted down the proposed resolution that urged Congress to repeal the current “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” policy in the military. Our source tells us that it was obvious a number of concerned and active citizens had called in urging the chairman and others to defeat this resolution. We’ll post any official reporting we find from the caucus this morning as they become available. Right now, nothing is posted publicly.
A couple of observations about this issue and some of the comments that have been posted on the blog where we broke this news:
1) Someone noted in a comment that it is easier to sit on the sidelines and complain than to get involved. That is absolutely correct! Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) has a long history of urging people to get involved in the system in any number of ways. Being involved with a political party at the county level is an excellent way to have a say and be involved in important decisions. For political parties in Wisconsin, county chapters are incredibly important, as they are the ones that forward resolutions to the state party and help to shape the platform and the resolutions in the platform. In addition, these local groups can be tremendously helpful to candidates by providing feet, hands, voices and money that are desperately needed during campaigns. This resolution in this caucus today highlights the need for good people to be involved.
2) Another comment noted that this resolution was only proposed; that when we let people know about it, it was not a done deal. That’s certainly true. The comment went on to say, basically, that this is America; and such resolutions are part of the way we do government. The entity considering such resolutions has the wherewithal to approve or disapprove them. Again, that is true. WFA is not ignorant of the way we do government in America, nor are we ignorant of how the resolution process works in such organizations as the Milwaukee County Republican Party. It is also true that the resolution would likely have been defeated had we never let the general public know that it was on the docket for the caucus today.
However, we let the general public know about this issue because of the particular resolution and the particular position. When a local manifestation of a political party is considering a resolution that is in direct violation of the national party platform (see “Personnel Policies” under “National Security”), we believe it is appropriate that the public be made aware. There are many Republicans in Milwaukee County who might not be part of the county party but consider themselves staunch party loyalists or even just “mostly Republican.” However they view themselves on the spectrum of party loyalty, these folks deserve to know what the local party is doing. Beyond that, they have every right to weigh in with the county party leadership to express their opinion. But they won’t make their opinions known if they don’t know what is happening in the organization. Yes, we agree; if they really cared, they’d join the county party and attend meetings. And, frankly, we hope that from this specific instance a number of people in Milwaukee County will get more involved with the local Republican party or the party of their choice. That would be a double victory, to be sure.
To those who took time to call Chairman David Karst, thank you for your concern and for your involvement. We hope you will find yourselves involved in other ways, especially as we move through this critical election year.