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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Oh, Bummer! Time for Conservatives to Take Back Our Party and Our Nation

We have lots of work to do and no time to mope about the self-inflicted wounds on our nation by the voters. With adversity comes opportunity if one is diligent in seeking it out. An Obummer presidency is certainly "adversity".
  • Let's make it official: the "kinder, gentler nation" and "compassionate conservatism" experiments have been abject failures and should never be attempted again. Ever. If any member of the Bush family seeks the GOP endorsement for a run for office he/she should be unceremoniously shown the door. They are good and decent people but do not have the political instincts or strongly held principles to govern and lead the party effectively.

  • Nationally the first order of business has got to be to re-take the House in two years to limit the damage of the Unholy Trinity government. Once this is done we can work to help Obama make further history as the first one-term black president after 2012.

  • The GOP primary system is broken when we as a party allowed the media and the opposition (redundant, I know) to pick our presidential candidate. McCain's campaign had near zero support from the base and was out of money, yet managed to game the system to secure the nomination. McCain is an honorable war hero and a decent man, but was a lousy senator and a weak candidate. Couple this with a biased media and the results of last night were hard to prevent (the only reason McCain wasn't blown out, other than his choice of VP, in a Reaganesque landslide is that the Democrats ran such repugnant candidate that at least some of the Conservative base got mobilized for defensive purposes). The GOP primary process has got to be fixed such that our candidates reflect the will of the party base.

  • We as a nation need to clean up our election system. There are too many opportunities for fraud. Although the margin in this election was large enough that voter fraud (which appeared to be massive in some areas like Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania) likely didn't impact the outcome, it could very well have in a close election. ACORN and other radical groups need to be aggressively investigated and prosecuted. Obama's fund raising shenanigans also need to be aggresively investigated and followed up with prosecutions when the evidence of wrong doing is found.

  • The current GOP metaphoric view of an election contest as a boxing match between honorable combatants must end as the opposition views it as a street fight and they bring the pipes, chains, and brass knuckles. In most conflicts the aggressor sets the rules and we have not, and will not, win many elections when we play the game by the opposition rules.

  • We as a party needs to get it through our heads that the mainstream media is not interested in objectivity, fairness, or to be our friends. Michele Bachmann, one of the few principled Conservatives in the House, learned this lesson the hard way and it nearly cost her (and us) her office. The party needs to play hardball (no pun intended) with media bias and cheerleading, call them out, and refuse to participate.

  • We need to change the rules of the game of campaigning. Showing up for candidate forums like those run by the League of Liberal Women Voters is counter productive. The ground rules of avoiding controversy and the obvious censorship of tough questions is stacked in favor of liberals and moderates. There is nothing that is gained by participating in these laughably lame events and often much to lose. In the future participation in these touchy-feely forums has got to be in exchange for the opposition agreeing to participate in real debates in Conservative events or questioning on Conservative talk radio (could you imagine what Jason Lewis, Chris Baker, Bob Davis, etc. would do to someone like Kate Knuth or Betty McCollum?).

  • Elected GOP officials need to be held accountable by the party and dealt with harshly when they aid and abet the opposition. There can be occasional compromise on legislation, but compromise on principle cannot be tolerated. Face the fact that the libs have control of virtually all of our elected bodies and are going to force through bad legislation. They need to get full credit for it and not given any grounds to claim "bi-partisan support" like the Dirty Half-Dozen provided by voting for the tax hike veto override.

  • RINOs need to be aggressively driven from the party at all levels. "Getting things done" serves no good purpose if what gets done is not in our best interests. Losing RINOs like Elizabeth Dole will actually help the party in the long run. If Norm Coleman survives the recount he has got to be thoroughly convinced that it will be his last term if he doesn't reform his RINO ways. I don't know if there is really any hope for Norm - at best he is not a strong candidate (he got beat by Jesse Ventura and almost/possibly beat by Al Franken; this does not inspire a lot of confidence for future runs).

  • Fortunately Dingy Harry did not get his filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Republicans need to aggressively use the filibuster to limit the permanent damage the liberals and socialists can and will cause. We need to support the GOP minority and pressure any Republican senators (are you listening Norm Coleman and John McCain?) who even think about breaking rank.

  • The Republican grass roots organization and ground game needs to be improved. I've worked on some local races and the level of support from the party has been abysmal. There is no question that we clearly had better candidates but when lamers like McCollum, Knuth, Parker, et al end up winning there is clearly something wrong with organization and tactics. We are always going to be at a huge manpower and financial disadvantage with all of the union and liberal special interest groups helping out the opposition. We need to be far more organized and show much more hustle and aggressiveness than in the past.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a white, college educated, Obama Independent, let me first congratulate you all for a hard-fought election. John McCain is a very honorable man, and it's too bad we weren't given the choice of him in 2004 vs. Kerry, because I believe he would have won and led the country in a better direction. I agree with some of the points made here by Right Hook, and I would like to add to this list of things Republicans can do to win a majority in 2012:

Pick a viable running mate.The Republican base makes up around 40% of the electorate. The Democrat base is the other 40%. The remaining 20% are Independents and Moderates; the true deciders of each election. The choice of Sarah Palin could not have been better for the Democrats. While she revved up the base, she was more successful in energizing the opposition. She had no chemistry with McCain and held radical right-wing views which did not resonate with his views or the views of the majority of Americans. Not to mention her intellect. I'm sure that she has a decent IQ, however her response to what newspapers and magazines she reads: "them all." In that entertaining interview, she could not point out a single one that she reads. If McCain would have chosen one of his allies, he would have been more viable.

Give up the attacks and focus on the issues. The conservative base did not let John McCain be John McCain. Instead they wanted to focus on petty issues such as the disgusting (but not important) Pastor Jeremiah Wright, the deplorable (but not relevant) 60's radical Bill Ayers, and most importantly, chose to play on old-fashioned racial fears by overemphasizing Obama's middle name, "Hussein." The majority of Americans understand that Barack Obama is not Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, or Saddam Hussein. We chose in '08 to throw out our parents' old fashioned politics as Obama refused money from corrupt lobbyists, chose to take the high road while his opponent was bashing his character, and perfectly articulated his ideology. This gave people a chance to vote FOR something. Conservatives were so focused on getting people to vote against Obama that they forgot to mention why their ideas are superior to his. By the time they realized they needed to start hitting the issues, it was already too late.

Unite, unite, unite and end partisanship. We are one nation of many differing beliefs. While McCain's crowds were generally homogeneous, Obama brought together the rich and poor, white, black, hispanic, asian, disabled, working class, middle class, and upper class voters to the decision process through his policies. He offered something for everyone. "A government by the people, FOR the people." The Republican party needs to explain in '12 how they can cater to more than one demographic.

Open your minds. It was once said, "It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it." Liberals, or as you say "libs", have promised to work together, make deals, and compromise -- and contrary to the opinions of this blog, I believe that if your party continues to stay partisan, they will only lose more seats. Close-minded, old-fashioned thinking has destroyed the Republican party.

Admit your mistakes. If the base would have been forthright with Americans about Bush's failings, the country wouldn't have held you as accountable as they did. There certainly wouldn't have been a landslide victory if that was the case. Instead, Republicans enabled and "smoothed over" what will go down in history as one of the least productive, least transparent, and most corrupt Presidencies in our history. America spoke clearly yesterday when we purged the responsible enablers from government.

Come together. I know this has already been said, but it needs to be repeated over and over. Work with the Democrats, and you will regain some control - because YOU (conservatives) connect better with most Americans on moral issues. Work harder to end abortion. Explain how your tax system rewards hard work, because currently, a lot of Americans believe that it rewards power and greed.

Divided you fail. Come up with a consistent message.

Last night was a moving experience. We saw John McCain, a patriot, reformist, uniter, and honorable man lose not because of his own failings, but the failings of his base and his party. He was clearly disgusted with the people at his speech who were racially attacking Obama, and the John McCain we all know finally returned to quash them. But by that time, unfortunately, it was already too late.

11/05/2008 1:35 PM  
Blogger G-Man said...


Thank you for taking the time to entertain the discourse on our site. We shall enjoy it while we can – before Senator Schumer shuts us down along with talk radio.

You are right that Republicans need to look within to see why we lost this election. But your conclusions are flawed.

The Democrat Party wins with the emotional argument. Republicans win when they focus on conservative ideas.

Most who voted for Obama still don't know him. In your comments, you have fallen for the fallacy of bipartisanship, yet Obama and Democrats ran a very partisan race. Evidence clearly points to Democrats for the current economic crisis, but they chose to blame President Bush. Pelosi promised bipartisanship in 2006, but she has blocked Republicans from offering amendments to bills on the floor of the House. It is hard pressed to argu that Obama will unite us when he just appointed a ver partisan liberal strong-arm muscle, Rahm Emmanuel, to be his chief of staff. Show me where Democrats have been bipartisan.

Republicans lost because they failed to stick with conservative ideas and they failed to sell them with partisan vigor. Governor Palin is the only reason McCain was able to keep the popular vote within single digits. There is nothing radical about suggesting that American workers keep more of what they earn and that American business is better at reinvesting its profits in employees that the the federal government.

Let's be honest. The media pulled out all stops to attack Palin because she drew conservatives back to the campaign. Palin was a genuine threat to Obama. She is better qualified to lead than either Obama or Biden. The McCain campaign made a mistake by not letting Palin be Palin and keeping her under wraps from conservative media. They should not have fed her to the wolves who left the more substantial interview clips on the cutting room floor. Trivial pursuit interviews do not reveal the quality of the candidate.

How can one honestly argue that Biden was a better running mate. He thinks "jobs" is a three letter word, he teaches Constitutional law but thinks that the First Article refers to the executive branch and does not give the veep a role in the Senate (it deals with the legislative branch and makes the veep the president of the Senate). Then there is Biden's promise that we will be attacked within Obama's first six months. Had the media paid half the attention on Biden's gaffs as they did Palins reading list, McCain would have been elected.

Don't be fooled by the myth that Republicans win when they move left. They don't. Neither do Democrats. Obama didn't run on his plan to redistribute wealth from those who earn it to those who don't pay taxes. He instead chose to sell his Marxist plan as giving "tax cuts to 95% of Americans" (half of which don't pay income taxes).

There is no way that McCain could have won in 2004. The Republican base has limited patience with Republicans who waiver from conservative principles and fail to fight for them once in office. The polling data proves this. Comparing Bush in 2004 to McCain this year, Bush earned 84% of the conservative vote to McCain's 78%. Bush got 45% of moderates to McCain's 39%. Bush got 13% of liberals to McCain's 10%. Bush got 93% of Republicans, 48% of independents, and 11% of Democrats to McCain's 89%, 44%, and 10% respectively.

No offense, but were you paying attention to this election??

Wright and Ayers were quite relevant in this race. The evidence is quite strong that both were instrumental in forming and/or fostering Obama's political ideology. With respect to Wright, Obama said as much in his own book. With respect to Ayers, every time Obama denied a relationship, we learned that a deeper one actually existed. Not only did Obama endorse one of Ayers books with a book cover blurb, but there is growing evidence that Ayers ghost wrote Obama's first book. The friends you keep define who you are and few people really know Obama. Did I mention his pal Rezko?

Had the media done its job as a watchdog, the McCain camp would not have been forced to raise these questions.

Obama refused money from lobbyists??? Ever hear of Planned Parenthood? Ever hear of the NEA? Ever hear of AFL-CIO and numerous other unions? Ever hear of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Fannie and Freddi's greed led to this economic mess. Republicans tried to reign them in 2005, but they successfully lobbied Democrats to block it. They gave $130,000 to Obama for his trouble. Then there is Obama's intentional effort to lift standard credit card checks from his web site's donation page, thus welcoming illegal donations. When all is said and done, odds our high the Obama took millions in illegal funds.

Unite? Please, show me when Obama, Reid, or Pelosi made a single step to reach across the isle. Reaching for my wallet doesn't count.

You are right about one thing. Republicans do need to do a better job articulating the benefits of conservative ideas. They need to articulate how taxing business hurts jobs and hurts the poor – and leads to trickle up poverty. They need to articulate how government meddling into the free market kills the goose that lays the golden economic eggs. They need to articulate how turning health care over to government bureaucrats makes medical services more costly and harder to get. Non of these ideas are radical and all were better articulated by Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber than McCain and, sadly, President Bush.

Still, this election had nothing to do with ideas. Believe me, many of us were eager to discuss them. This election was about the emotional appeal to make history for hope and change. But, for what change?

Open your mind. Entertain thought. I'm still ready and eager talk ideas. Reply to my "So You Got Change" post and tell us what ideas you hope to see in the next Congress -- and, maybe, what you hope Democrats won't do (maybe the Fairness Doctrine).

Also, please pick an identity other than "anonymous". Let's chat. I look forward to it.

PS. Let's drop the notion that every chord of discontent with Obama is racially motivated. It belittles Senator Obama. It suggests that Obama is unable to stand criticism for what he promotes and what he does. And, it nullifies and pretense for open minds and ideas for it assumes that opposition is emotionally motivated from hate alone. Disagreement does not equate to hate. Nor do boos at a rally. Should I accuse Democrats of being sexist for their attacks on Palin?

11/05/2008 4:45 PM  

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