beyond november

Unless something radically changes in the next several months, we will be looking at the election of Madame President. The organization Hillary Clinton has is way too strong for Trump to overcome with disciplined messaging and a few good debates – even if he could manage to accomplish those two goals. Whether Hillary manages to overcome her health challenges, or whether she is forced to withdraw, the Democrats will have the clear advantage on November 8th.

Many factors will have contributed to this result, but the primary factor will be the corrupt and dishonest Republican Party and their feckless “leadership”.

This massive failure has been in the works for years. It started accelerating in 2008 with the nomination of McCain, and continued with the nomination of Mitt Romney. Both men had admirable qualities and were on some level men of personal character. But their primary weaknesses were areas they shared with the Democrat nominee Barack Obama, so they couldn’t attack him on important issues that mattered to people. In addition to that, many people were swept up in the historic value of electing the first African-American president. That’s a tough challenge to overcome for a Republican nominee, even for a candidate that could paint in bold colors and articulate the “perceived” clear differences between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party – which they did not have in 2008 and 2012.

Even with that handicap, many Republicans, including myself, voted for the lesser of two evils because we couldn’t possibly vote for that scary socialist Marxist Obama guy. Anybody but Obama. Sound familiar? That’s because the Republican Party has been stuck on the same spinning hamster wheel of failure and refuses to learn from its mistakes. Why should they change? Why should they suddenly start paying attention to the people they claim to represent? After all, the average Republican doesn’t realize how stark the departure is from what we thought it represented as a party. We just keep voting for the Republicans because they are always way better than the Democrats. But are they really that much different? 2016 has proven that they are not.

This is the big picture – the Republicans are not who we thought they were, and it should matter to people who are still hanging with this political party after seeing what it has become.

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michael steele doesn’t get it

This started out as such a brilliant idea — getting one of those “clean and articulate” African-Americans Vice President Biden always talks about to be the new chairman of the RNC. Then the Republicans’ grand plan started to unravel. The first strand was Steele v. Rush.  Attacking Rush Limbaugh always gets you points with the Democrats and with the leftist media, but it doesn’t do much to keep the support of the conservative base of the Republican party. What I believe Chairman Steele fails to understand about Rush’s influence is that he expresses what the majority of his audience already believes.  Rush Limbaugh is not the leader of the Republican Party, and he would never want to be. That’s not his job.  He is an entertainer, as Steele said, but he is also an important voice for conservatism. In addition to the occasional mindless drone who looks to Rush to tell him/her what to think and believe everyday, Rush’s audience also includes grassroots activists who are motivated by their ideology to volunteer for the party in their local communities, and to encourage others to do the same. In the Steele v. Rush debate, all the Chairman accomplished by his scattershot comments is to alienate many of my fellow conservatives who wish to be included in this new big tent we are creating in the party with all those important moderates and independents. In the absence of Republican leadership, many voices clamor to be heard, and there is much competition to be the most powerful and influential representative of my party.  Right now that person doesn’t seem to be the chairman of the RNC.

The second so-called controversy that’s currently getting airplay is about his comments on abortion in GQ, and how he believes that it’s a woman’s “individual choice”. Well, yeah. Of course it is.  I’m not sure we can win hearts and minds to the pro-life position by arguing over this point. I don’t think that this says anything significant about Michael Steele’s personal beliefs on the abortion issue, although those who were initially skeptical about his abortion views won’t be reassured by his current comments on the subject. While there may be room for a difference of opinion among my fellow Republicans on abortion, ultimately the Republican Party is and always has been a pro-life party. Social conservatives have a home in this party, and they make up a significant portion of the grassroots army the Republicans need to win elections. That’s why the current mindset of our RNC chair is troubling to me. He doesn’t seem to understand a significant portion of the people he represents, and yet he wants to expand our base to include moderates and independents. This would mean watering down the principles we claim to have always stood for, even if the execution of those ideals has never been perfect.  If he can’t keep the trust of the base, then all the moderates and independents he could gain won’t do much to our electoral prospects going forward into ’10 and ’12.

Do I think we should throw Michael Steele under the bus?  Not yet.  Possibly not at all.  The Democrats managed to succeed in spite of Howard Dean, didn’t they? Right…so there is still hope for the RNC to get its act together in time for the next election.

rnc: the end and the beginning

There were three major storylines at the RNC today that had nothing to do with Sarah Palin.  The first was the ceremonial end of the Bush era.  The second was Fred’s red meat speech and his stirring account of McCain’s military service.  The third — Joe Lieberman incinerating those bridges between himself and the Democrats once and for all with his direct attacks on Barack Obama.

The Republicans need to do more to emphasize the differences between Bush and McCain, but they need to do this without completely abandoning Dubya.  There are those in the party who still love the guy, and we need all the votes we can get to defeat Barack Obama.  That’s why the President had to speak at the RNC, no matter how brief the speech would have to be.  I’m not sure that the President did much to advance McCain’s candidacy, but it was nice to give him one last hurrah in front of an appreciative crowd. We also saw a video tribute to Bush Sr. It was fitting that they gave all the Bushes their due at the last convention they will have with a Bush in the White House.  (Unless Jeb surprises us all someday…)

Fred Thompson’s speeches will never approach the eloquence of Senator Obama’s, but he was on fire tonight.

Here’s some of what he said about McCain:

Now, being a POW certainly doesn’t qualify anyone to be President. But it does reveal character. This is the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders. Strength. Courage. Humility. Wisdom. Duty. Honor. It’s pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, ‘Who is this man?’ and ‘Can we trust this man with the Presidency?’ He has been to Iraq eight times since 2003. He went seeking truth, not publicity. When he travels abroad, he prefers quietly speaking to the troops amidst the heat and hardship of their daily lives. And the same character that marked John McCain’s military career has also marked his political career. This man, John McCain is not intimidated by what the polls say or by what is politically safe or popular. At a point when the war in Iraq was going badly and the public lost confidence, John stood up and called for more troops. And now we are winning. Ronald Reagan was John McCain’s hero. And President Reagan admired John tremendously. But when the President proposed putting U.S. troops in Beirut, John McCain, a freshman Congressman, stood up and cast a vote against his hero because he thought the deployment was a mistake. My friends … that is character you can believe in.

Zing.  Character matters, at least it does for Republicans.  That’s the main question we have been asking about Barack Obama from the beginning — who is this guy and can we trust him with the Presidency?  Love or hate John McCain — you know where he stands.

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congratulations mr. chairman

Get to know the guy in this picture.  He’s gonna be a star.

The smiling face you are looking at is the chairman of the York County GOP in South Carolina, Glenn McCall. (My apologies for the quality of the picture.)  He was elected on Saturday at the state convention to represent South Carolina Republicans as a member of the Republican National Committee.  Lord knows the RNC needs some more solid conservatives, and Glenn McCall is definitely one of those.  Hopefully he can knock some sense into those Washington-ites who have “gone native”.  I feel much better about the state of the RNC now that he’s going to be part of it.

Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate Chairman McCall on a much-deserved win, and to wish him the best of luck in smacking some sense into the national GOP.