Delegates to the state Democrat Party convention during the weekend made their position very clear: You're either for President Barack Obama or against the party. Few seemed to worry about whether Obama is for West Virginia.
He isn't, of course. He has made that perfectly clear. Unemployment in our state is higher than when Obama took office. His war against coal already has killed hundreds of jobs and, if not checked, will eliminate tens of thousands more. And just when it seemed the gas drilling boom might rescue our economy, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency burdened the industry with new rules and threatened to mandate even more.
It was to be expected the state Democrat Party organization would take the official position that Obama should be supported. But what came after that during the convention in Charleston was startling in its blind partisanship.
Delegates to the gathering approved a resolution demanding that all Democrats support all their party's candidates, "including the head of the Democratic Party and our president, Barack Obama."
It was clear the resolution was aimed at Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, also a Democrat. Both have said they may not vote for Obama in the November presidential election.
Former state party Chairman Pat Maroney, a Charleston attorney, used good old-fashioned tent revival techniques to whip up the crowd before a vote on the resolution. By passing it, he told them, "You will cleanse your political soul." He also urged them to "testify for the straight Democratic ticket."
Neither Manchin nor Tomblin repented, according to a published report. That is because both have decided their loyalty belongs to the people of West Virginia, not the head of the Democrat Party - or anyone else masquerading as a champion of the common people while doing all in his power to wreck an entire state.
Maroney and his fellow demagogues were able to sway the convention crowd easily.
But delegates returning to their communities will find many of their fellow Democrats skeptical of rhetoric that asks them to support their party - at the cost of devastating our state.