It's a saying often used to validate actions taken by the victors that the vanquished oppose. This past Saturday, the NCGOP showed there is an adendum to that saying.
That adendum is "unless you can orchestrate a coup".
In a special meeting of the NCGOP Executive Committee, Party Chairman Hassan Harnett was removed from office by a vote of 200 to 79.
The Executive Committe is made up of nearly 600 party officials from across the state. It includes the top 2 officials from each County level party organization, all Republican legislators and other elected officials, all the members of the Central Committe as well as others from the Congressional District conventions, and officers of state level party auxiliaries such as the College Republicans and Republican Men's and Women's organizations.
These folks can best be described as the definition of the party "establishment."
By the numbers, only about half of the Executive Committee voted on Harnett's removal. Also, 200 voters represents less than half of the votes Harnett's opponent, Craig Collins, received when Harnett was elected last June. When you figure Collins had overwhelming establishment support judging by who endorsed him, it's very reasonable to assume any Executive Committee meeting called to oust Harnett would likely succeed.
Still, a 2/3 super majority is hard to achieve. That's the bar the Executive Committee had to reach on Saturday.
So, what happened?
I am told that during the presentation of "evidence" against Harnett, many people could be seen removing their pro-Harnett stickers. If the Haymaker's numbers were right, about 40 people may have switched their votes.
Apparently, the evidence was that damning.
And that may be the ultimate lesson in this sad story. If you are going to overthrow the established order of things, you have to make sure you "coup proof" the new regime. One way of doing that is to not do things so out of the norm that it turns even some of your supporters against you.