Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What the GOP needs to do

Steve McCann offers some good advice to conservatives going forward to November and then 2012:

The only way to defeat the Left is to stop playing by their rules.

First, it must be understood that the enemy we are fighting, the Liberals or the Left, makes up 20% of the country's population. Moderates are 36%, and conservatives are more than 40%. Based on that breakdown, one might assume that something like 67% of moderates lean to the conservative view. Thus, 64% of the citizenry are potential voters against what is happening in Congress and the White House.

Why does the conservative coalition allow 20% of the people to dictate how or why campaigns are conducted? Why do conservatives still curry favor from the once-mainstream media, who in a marketing death wish choose to appeal to this same 20%? Why, within this alliance, is there so much suspicion among each faction? And lastly, why is it not understood that only by the in-place organization of the Republican Party, under conservative control, can the current tide in Washington be reversed?

Conservatives must discipline themselves to stop being so thin-skinned about what the media, bloggers, and pundits on the Left say about them. These immature and self-righteous blowhards must be ignored and allowed to talk among themselves without any response from anyone on the right. The only response necessary is to correct or rebut immediately and firmly the mistakes and misrepresentations of the once-mainstream media.

The Tea Party Movement, instead of reveling in its declared independence, should immediately either join forces with or take over the local Republican Party establishment in its respective county or state.

Each person has one political or social issue that is of the highest importance to him. Regardless of what it is, everyone must now realize that without individual freedom and liberty, plus a limited government -- all of which are now under massive assault by the Obama administration -- it matters little what that issue is.

In order to overcome the Democrats' misuse of "community organizations" and biased election laws and officials to skew close elections, the members of the conservative coalition must turn out in massive numbers to vote and support one political party.

Everyone must stop the absurd belief that one should vote for the person and not the party. The lesson of the passage of the Health Care Reform Act in Congress should never be forgotten: There is no such thing as a "conservative Democrat" once installed in Congress. There is a major difference between the parties. Conservatives can influence what happens in the Republican Party; they cannot do so in the Democratic Party.

Above all, everyone in the current coalition opposing what is happening in Washington, D.C. must unite behind one theme and put all differences aside. That cause should be this: For future generations, the United States must remain the dominant global economic force able to underwrite being the unrivaled military power in the world. The destructive path the current government in Washington has chosen will relegate our country to long-term economic stagnation and secondary world status.

The upcoming midterm election is one of the most pivotal in history. Despite the current optimism surrounding the outcome of the November 2010 election, the conservative movement will not triumph unless it unites, remains disciplined, and above all, understands and learns from its adversaries.

The overwhelming and unexpected victory in Massachusetts should not be allowed to lead to complacency or overconfidence. The Democrats and the Obama administration will be more determined than ever to hold on to the power necessary to transform the United States into their image.

I have added emphasis to what I consider to be the key elements of Mr. McCann's argument.

First we must stop playing by the left's rules. Conservatives are the majority and should begin acting like it.

Consider this. Rush Limbaugh has more listeners on Manhattan island than MSNBS has viewers in the entire nation. Look at the ratings for the nightly network news broadcasts and look at sales figures for your average daily broadsheet newspaper.

Then look at the ratings of Fox News and conservative talk radio.

What we have been calling the "Mainstream Media" is not, not any longer. What was once the mainstream media has become a niche product serving the left-wing 20% of the population and using its rapidly dwindling reservoir of credibility to make that small minority look far larger than it is and giving them a vastly exaggerated influence on the nation's politics.

The media which is truly "mainstream", that is reflecting the beliefs and values of the majority of the people is now the "alternative media" of talk radio the internet and Fox News.

Conservatives need to internalize this truth and begin to live by it. This doesn't mean shutting out the Old Media the way Obama tried to freeze out Fox. What it means is that when being interviewed by someone from network news or the New York Times you are for all intents and purposes talking to someone from your opponent's campaign and act accordingly.

Then to get your message out you rely on Sean Hannity or Chris Wallace to interview you fairly.

The Tea Party movement does need to explicitly join with the Republican party however that cuts both ways. If the polls in a state or district show that in a three way race the Republican candidate would both get fewer votes than a hypothetical Tea Party candidate then the Republicans need to understand that when the Tea Party folks have been fully brought on board then it is them who will be in charge.

This is so important that I'm going to say it again. In those places (and they are many) where the Tea Party had more credibility than the GOP it needs to be understood by everyone that when the Tea Party has been brought under the GOP umbrella it is for the explicit purpose of putting the Tea Party people in the driver's seat - not to bring the Tea Party under the control of the GOP establishment!

The statement about voting for the party not the man may seem controversial. It goes against what many have always believed was the height of political wisdom. However it is the absolute truth. The parties are so different that the worst Republican will almost always be better than the best Democrat. The only exception to this would be getting rid of a Republican whose voting record makes them hard to tell apart from a Democrat.

Consider this. If the two parties really were the same then Obama's socialized medicine plan would have already sailed through both houses with broad bipartisan support and have already been signed into law. The same would be true of Cap and Trade. And amnesty for illegal aliens. And a great many other things which have not happened because of united opposition from the GOP.

I would also add this point that Mr. McCann did not cover. The GOP needs new leadership. While I am proud of the way Republicans in the House and Senate have held the line against Obama's radical agenda it is not enough to be the party of opposition. We must also present a program for people to vote for in the affirmative sense and the GOP is not doing that in any coherent way.

Right now he leadership of the party seems to be thinking that all they need to do to win in November is sit back and let the Democrats continue to destroy themselves. This may work in the short term to regain the House in 2010 and even the Senate and White House in 2012 but it will not serve to form the foundation of a long term Republican dominance.

When you get right down to it the central theme of Barack Obama's campaign was that he was not George W Bush. Since taking office Obama has governed in a way which is inexplicable unless you understand that the central theme of his government also is that he is not George W Bush.

We see how well that is working out for him.

The GOP must avoid the situation of being elected but without a clear mandate by developing a clear set of goals, publicizing those goals and then running our House, Senate and presidential races on the promise to fulfill those goals.

My advice on exactly what goals we should set would be to concentrate on restoring economic prosperity, securing America's energy independence and defeating the Islamofascist enemy.

We have until November to make the case for a return to Republican dominance in Washington. Please let us not screw it up.