Maddow is right on this: Pledges of allegiance to individual candidates should concern us.

Rachael Maddow is not my favorite person in the world. Her smug lean at the camera drives me nuts. But on occasion she does some good news.

In the video below she raises the issue of candidate “loyalty oaths” which have been used primarily (it is inferred and I have no counter evidence at hand) by the GOP in recent years.

She specifically discusses how the Republican Party insisted in Massachusetts recently that delegates en route to Tampa who were inclined toward Ron Paul declare in written form that they would support Mitt Romney on the floor.

Some of the Ron Paul friendly delegates balked, which then gave the state party grounds to replace those delegates, which was the plan.

Earlier this year in the commonwealth of Virginia (my home) there was a move to insist, via a written pledge, that anyone who voted in the Republican primary support the eventual GOP nominee no matter what. It was a direct shot at the Ron Paul folks who the Virginia GOP was afraid might hijack the process.

These sorts of maneuvers are the actions of a party in deep existential crisis. The younger, more independent, far more libertarian GOP is rising up and wants to be heard, but the establishment does not want to listen. Frankly, the old GOP is scared.