SECRECY….I don’t really care about immigration policy all that much, but Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo does. So he tried to get his views adopted in the Republican party platform.

When that failed, he decided to see if he could gin up a floor fight at the convention. This was more political theater than anything else, but even so he ran into an unusual problem:

There are two ways to bring a matter to the floor: One is to convince six state delegations to support the motion for a floor debate?a virtual impossibility, Tancredo realized; the other is to get 19 members of the platform committee to support bringing a matter to the floor. This latter route seemed doable to Tancredo, save for one problem: The congressman couldn’t find out who, exactly, was on the platform committee. Running the platform process with all the discipline and secrecy that’s come to be expected from the Bush White House, the RNC, citing security concerns, refused to divulge the identities of the handpicked delegates who served on the platform committee?even, in some cases, to other members of the platform committee.

The names of the platform committee members are a secret? For “security reasons”? Has the party leadership gone completely insane? (That’s a rhetorical question, of course. No need to answer.)

I have lately been having trouble finding the words to describe the current state of the leadership of the Republican party. This is one of those times. All I can do is shake my head and wonder when the rank and file of the Republican party ? many of whom I count as friends and most of whom are decent and honorable people ? are going to wake up and realize what the Texas ideologues are doing to their party.

At some point, they’re going to have take the same hard look at George Bush that so many Democrats took at Jimmy Carter in 1980, and decide that enough’s enough. But will they do it this year, when the damage is still repairable, or will they give Bush another four years, at which point the party will be in such ruins that they’ll probably have to wait a couple of decades before they win another election? That’s the decision facing an awful lot of adult Republicans this year.

POSTSCRIPT: And in case you’re wondering, no, the membership of the Democratic platform committee was not a secret. Here it is, if you’re interested.

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