At Morning Jolt, Jim Geraghty writes:
"How many divisions does the pope have?" The number is the same as the number of votes that RNC chairman Reince Priebus controls in the House and Senate.
Oh, sure, Priebus might be able to get any member of the House or Senate to take his calls, and he can try to persuade GOP officeholders. But the national party committees don't really set policy. So I don't quite understand why somebody would get up in arms about the RNC "Growth and Opportunity Project" hinting or outright suggesting that the party should embrace comprehensive immigration reform or comments that appear to suggest supporting gay marriage is fine with Priebus.
I can understand disagreeing with Priebus. I can't get my head around thinking that his opinion changes the policy stances of any current or future GOP officeholder.
In the end, policy comes from the folks who get elected. This means that the Republican party's stance on illegal immigration, gay marriage, and every other issue under the sun is set by the folks who are in office, and the folks who are trying to get into office in the midterms or off-year elections. Priebus isn't going to withhold RNC funds from an electable candidate because he opposes some comprehensive immigration deal, and he's not going to withhold funds from candidates on either side of the gay-marriage issue. You're going to have Republicans running on different issues and themes depending upon whether they're running in Silicon Valley or West Virginia.
The so-called "Washington insiders" aren't nearly as powerful as they're painted by those who oppose them the loudest. Just ask Senator Mike Castle, Senator Sue Lowden, Senator Jane Norton . . .