Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A New Party For New Times - Remaking The GOP

The Republican resurgence in the midterms, welcome as it was has an element of danger to it and that danger is becoming apparent as the new GOP led Congress prepares to be seated in less than a month.

It is the danger of conducting business as usual, on the same old lines. In order not to fall into that hole, the GOP is going to have to remade if it is to survive. If not, the Republicans will go the way of the Whigs and be destroyed.And it will be a fate they utterly deserve.

The recent activities of a number of Senate Republicans during the Lame Duck session are a prime example of why this is so.

In the space of a mere few days,enough GOP senators defected to allow the Obama Administration to claim wins on Don't Ask Don't Tell, a flawed tax 'compromise', a dodgy 'food safety' bill, and the rushing through of the ratification of the unfortunate START treaty with Russia that compromises our nuclear deterrent.

The problem is not that "Harry Reid has eaten our lunch" as GOP Senator Lindsay Graham said in a widely quoted public rant.It goes far deeper.

The Senators voting for these measures include the Northeast Republicans -Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and so did RINO Lisa Murkowski - but the real story is that a number of establishment Republicans from Red States like Johnny Isaakson of Georgia , Richard Burr of North Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois, George Voinovich of Ohio,Robert Bennett of Utah, Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee,and Dick Lugar of Indiana among others voted with the Democrats on measures like repealing DADT and START.

There was absolutely no reason why any of this agenda couldn't have waited until the new Congress seated January 5th, when the Republicans would have had much more leverage and bargaining power. Instead, they chose to rush things through precisely because they could - and because being members of the Ruling Class, it suited them.

I am not a party man, and I suspect that a lot of the independents that flocked to the Republican banner in this last election share that distinction with me. I see the GOP as having a core of patriotic and sensible men and women capable of bringing this country back to the principles our Founders based this great nation on, something the Democrats, especially the current party leadership unfortunately lack.

Even more important, it's already in place and it would be far less timely to change it and utilize it than it would be to create a brand new structure. But if that's going to happen and the GOP is worth preserving, some fundamental changes need to take place.

The Republicans may think that the 2010 midterms constituted a mandate. It was actually a last chance based on the fact the alternative was unacceptable, and act of faith that was very similar to the 2004 elections when the American people gave George W. Bush and the GOP an opportunity to run with the ball.

Bush and his Republican cohorts fumbled badly, and it took six years and an abysmally bad Democrat Congress and President along Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint keeping the Tea Party inside the GOP tent in order for the American people to be willing to give them another shot. If they fumble this time, I doubt the Republicans will ever be trusted again...and a new party will have to be built from scratch.

Here's what needs to happen:

The Party needs to change its orientation towards populism and end its identification with the ruling political class. Put another way, the GOP needs to point a lot more towards the Tea party and a lot less towards the Beltway.

This is much less hard than it seems as , contrary to popular belief, it is the Democrats who are the party of millionaires and special interests, thriving on large funding from the likes of people like George Soros, Goldman Sachs, Peter Lewis, the Tides Foundation, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the trial lawyers and the public employee unions.

The Republican support comes disproportionately from farmers and businessmen, the military, the Tea Party, workers in private enterprise and industrialists involved in trade, commodities and manufacturing.

To alter it's stance, the GOP needs to be much more focused on bread and butter issues - school choice, national defense, lower taxes and regulations, smaller more efficient government, energy creation (particularly where it concerns coal, oil, and nuclear power), manufacturing and fair trade, and restructuring or in some cases eliminating the vast network of entitlements and unfunded mandates along with the vast and costly bureaucracy that services it.
Instead of backroom deals, the .new Republican Party must pledge itself to openness. In short, they must be prepared not only to stand on principle but to articulate those principles in a way that communicates itself to the electorate.

Paul Ryan's plan
is a decent start in this direction.

At the same time, the Party needs to set a personal example of thrift, common sense and probity. To quote Sarah Palin, it needs approach government 'with a servant's heart'.

That last is the most difficult, as a number of Beltway Republicans have absorbed the culture of decadence that permeates Washington and identify themselves as part of the Ruling class at this point. Abandoning that mentality is not merely a matter of ideology - it goes beyond labels like 'conservative' or 'liberal' but to the core of how these people see themselves. Someone like Susan Collins of Maine keeps getting re-elected handily in a Blue state precisely because she identifies with her constituents and is personally honest and hard working. A long time Robert Bennett of Utah got voted out in the primary in a Red State where his party dominates precisely because his constituents ceased to trust him and felt he no longer represented them any more.

Some will change...and some will have change thrust upon 'em, to paraphrase Shakespeare.

The Party's political leadership needs to be replaced and its local grass roots nurtured and revitalized. The Republican National Committee,(RNC) The National Republican Congressional Committee(NRCC) and the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) need fresh, behind the scenes faces who are much more adept at raising funds and efficiently utilizing those funds to put together local ground games and Get Out The Vote efforts.

If those had been in place in 2010, the Republicans would probably have picked up another half dozen seats in the House and at least two more Senate seats.

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't Hispanics who cost Sharron Angle the election, but the white vote, which she lost precisely because she had no experienced organization on the ground - whereas Harry Reid imported thousands of Democrat sturmabteilung and millions in cash for a massive GOTV push in the last few days of the campaign while Angle, running her first state-wide race, was left to stumble through trying to put together a ground game without any major support from the RNC. Not only was she outspent, but she was deprived of the kind of experienced professional party foot soldiers she needed to help her win that kind of campaign.

Instead, the RNC under the execrable 'leadership' of Michael Steele wound up spending its money on Steele's five star, self-promoting lifestyle.

That was not lost on GOP donors, and they will no longer tolerate that kind of mismanagement.

Nor will they tolerate Party giving its imprimatur to the sort of typical Republican 'establishment' type candidates it did in2010. The party will have to be a lot less hospitable, generally speaking, to the Charlie Crists and a lot more open to the Marco Rubios. Charismatic, well spoken conservatives who articulate their message usually win, as opposed to candidates who are essentially Democrat-lite.

The GOP needs to reach out much more to Hispanics and Blacks...but in the proper way.

The Republican Party is absolutely capable of picking up at least half of the Latino vote and an increasing share of the Black vote, provided they approach them honestly and stand on principle. To do that, they must take an approach diametrically opposite to the Democrats.

Both communities have a sizeable companent of exactly the sort of people who should be voting Republican, especially Latinos. Many of them are religious, family oriented, and interested in issues like education, school choice, crime, and economic prosperity for themselves and their children.

These are natural issues for conservatives to approach them on, and what it will take is candidates who can articulate precisely and directly how the Democrat's social welfare schemes have effected these communities negatively and how conservative principles would benefit them.

A Black or Latino working family concerned about crime in their neighborhoods, failing public schools, declining employment opportunities and the fact that less and less of their hard earned money ends up in their pockets and more and more of it ends up in the government's hands are a natural audience for this message.

And the natural place to deliver this messages in the churches, where many social issues like abortion and gay marriage are also likely to resonate. If I were running for Congress and I had Black and Latino constituents, that's exactly where I'd start.

An honest stance on the differences in the two parties on national defense is another wedge issue, as both communities instinctively support our military because so many of them have family members who serve. There are more Americans of Hispanic descent who have been awarded the Medal of Honor than any other ethnic group, and the Republican approach to Veteran's Affairs, military pay and benefits and national security is a winner here. I wonder, has any GOP candidate told an Hispanic audience how Barack Obama tried to take away the VA benefits from wounded vets and make them buy their own private healthcare?

Even the immigration issue is a potential winner. A lot of Hispanics readily understand, or can be made to understand that amnestia merely results in an unending flow of illegal aliens and keeps taxes high, wages low and services costly and over-extended..and that border security is a national security issue, not an immigration issue.

And has anyone in the GOP ever articulated a message on Spanish media about any of these issues? Have they attempted to reach out honestly to Blacks and Hispanics in their own communities,not to pander but make an honest appeal based on principle, self-interest and mutual success?That needs to happen, and if it's done right it will be successful.

The Republican Party stands at a crossroads. They can become the party of freedom, integrity and independence they were meant to be or they can continue along the same old road and become history.

The choice is theirs. Let's hope they make the right one.

please helps me write more gooder!


N.Poster said...

I think your post is largely spot on, however, to expand on the area of national defense I'm conceerned about the Start Treaty. Essentially prior to this treaty the Russian military edge over America was already significant and growing but the US at least had enough of a nuclear deterent to at least make the Russians tread somewhat carefully before engaging in military actions that might threaten America or its interests.

Now we won't even have a valid nuclear deterent or at least no where near what it was or should be. America's political leaders should never take up poker. They would be extrodinarily lousy at the game. They just threw away the one half way good card we still had for nothing of substance!! Without a valid nuclear deterent or at least a much weaker one Russia who has always been a thorn in our side will be even more emboldened.

I'd like to undo Start but America always has to honor its treaties due to the intense media scrutiny it faces. Those who it signs treaties with don't face this kind of scrutiny and, as such, are generally free to viloate these treaties with impunity. This coupled with America's poor intellegence community is a recipe for disaster. Essentially, if I had the priveledge of being one of America's leaders I would not sign a treaty with ANYONE right now for these reasons. It amkes little sense to give things to another party when you don't get any thing but a worthless peace of paper!!

B.Poster said...

The previous post was running a little long so I broke them down. I think its a given that Start II can't be undone. The question becomes what can we do going forward. Maybe we can renogitiate it. A better approach might be to do the following: 1.)withdraw all military personnel and support from Georgia, Poland, the Czech Republic, other former Soviet Republics, and former Eastern Bloc countries. 2.) Withdraw all military personnel from Europe and the Middle East. This would include a formal end to NATO. The European nations might want to continue it but it would be without American support or participation. 3.)In exchange for this, America can maintain or even expand its nuclear deterent. 4.) This should be acceptable to Russia. We aren't a threat to them nor could we be and by implementing these polices it would eliminate all appearances of a threat to Russia from America and America gets to maintain its national defense. If the Russians are reasonable, it should be acceptable. If not, we should be able to abandon the treaty. All we're asking for is the right to defend ourselves.

Btw, the leftist media is cute. In pushing for this treaty, they cite "foreign policy experts." These experts once told us Iraq had WMD. We saw how that one worked out. Essentially why should they be trusted now. I think we need new experts.

Your thoughts on this?

Freedom Fighter said...

The Russians will never renegotiate this while Obama is in th eWhite House.

Why should they?

As for NATO, it is still a deterrent, albeit not what it was. A deterrent is not only a product of the military force involved, but the leadership involved. The Russians obviously don't take Obama seriously. I certainly wouldn't.

Another reason to keep NATO around is that even a single American soldier represents a commitment. And we may need to deter other forces besides the Russians. Remember that an increasingly Islamist Turkey has the largest conventional military in Europe.

Also recall that both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan got rid of treaties that were entered into by the previous administrations.

We're stuck with this for two years. After that, it depends on who's in the White House.


Anonymous said...

This is spot on. The Republicans need to stop doing business as usual.

Anonymous said...

Alaska was duped into voting for Murkowski. The media and Democrats showered the state with propaganda and spent millions to elect her. I would not be suprised to see her become a Democrat.

Rosey said...

I recently toured a submarine moored in Portland. The squid tour guide, informed me that our 14 Ohio class submarines are each capable of destroying the earth 12 times over via SLBMs. This is an awful lot of deterrence. I hope this treaty is not going to significantly reduce this deterrence.

I have read silently as B.Poster has consistently bad mouthed our military and intelligence capabilities. I believe there were significant WMDs in Iraq, which received a one way ticket to Syria. As for our military, just our submarines alone can end any conflict we want instantly, if we have the political will to push the button. A will we have not had in 60 years.

Rosey said...

Love the elephant warrior action figure...where can I get one?