Bypassing the Base

It seems Team Romney’s only problem with “the base” isn’t simply that billionaires and greedy operatives are discussing options for plunging the general election into a gotterdamerung of racially charged attack ads. There’s also this little matter of some of the state and local Republican Party organizations they usually rely on as a conduit for national GOTV dollars getting taking over by The Revolution. Check out this report from Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun:

Fed up with an inept and self-destructive GOP apparatus in Nevada, the Republican National Committee and the Mitt Romney campaign have decided to erect a “shadow state party” in this critical swing state, sources confirmed today…

The lack of faith in the Republican Party here intensified with the botched February caucus, metastasized after the Ron Paul takeover in Sparks and reached its zenith with Tuesday evening’s call for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to resign by a divided Clark County GOP….

Even soon-to-be-former RNC Committeeman Bob List called the state GOP “dysfunctional” during an appearance today on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” although the former governor also blamed the Romney campaign for resting on its caucus win laurels and allowing the Paul revolution to occur…

This move has been inevitable and essential for some time for the RNC and Team Romney to combat a formidable Democratic machine. They won’t be able to do everything the Democrats can do, but separating themselves from the imploding and embarrassing party structure is a good first step.

A similar scenario has been unfolding in another battleground state, Iowa, where Paulites took over the state party apparatus even before they conquered Iowa’s delegation to the national convention.

If the presidential election turns out to be as close as appears likely right now, this is the sort of stuff that could matter more than you might imagine.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.