a couple quick thoughts

Yes, the wins by Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell were important. I don’t think that the loss by Corzine in NJ was completely surprising. Even in New Jersey, at some point the voters had to say to themselves, “We’ve had enough of Jon Corzine, and his total lack of ability to be a competent governor.” Corzine’s loss can mostly be blamed on Corzine himself. But in this current climate, friendship with President Obama is not a very desirable quality either. Creigh Deeds recognized that, but distancing himself from the President didn’t help him much. He still lost. Before my Democrat friends pounce on the Obama statement, let me clarify a bit here – I’m not saying that the President doesn’t maintain a reasonable amount of popularity on a personal level, but his policies are becoming more and more unpopular. This is a factor, I believe, in some of these Republican wins this evening – that, and the uninspiring candidates the Dems were running with in this election.

Here’s what I think Republicans can take from tonight, regardless of the result of NY-23. It doesn’t mean that conservatives could win everywhere they run a candidate like Hoffman, although I would like to see the attempt. What this says to me is that the idea of abandoning conservatism to follow the moderates / independents wherever it is they are going is deeply flawed, and the national Republican Party needs to reconsider its strategy going forward. I understand why RNC Chairman Michael Steele thought he had to support the decision by the locals of Dede Scozzafava, even though I disagree with it. I also know that, in addition to being moderate / liberal in political ideology, she was also a very flawed candidate. If he was really concerned about letting the locals in NY-23 decide this race, then he should have kept RNC money out of it. This goes for the RNCC as well.

Newt, my man, you have lost so much more credibility with this endorsement. I’ve written you even further off than you were before this endorsement. Congratulations. You will never be President.

One last thing — we don’t need more consultants, focus groups, political hacks, or so-called experts who aren’t looking out for the best interests of the Republican Party and for conservatism specifically telling us what we really want or what we really need. The first thing we must do to fix the Republican Party is to fire all these false prophets and get back to basics.

That is all.

know your role

What makes Michael Steele great on TV and talk radio makes him controversial as the RNC Chairman.   There are very few Republicans currently holding political office who could be successful pundits, and there are even fewer Republican politicians that would continue to win elections saying things that the members of their party don’t want to hear or acknowledge.   Those who have survived doing this, like Senator DeMint, most likely come from solid red states, where the base completely supports their efforts to fight the Washington mentality.  We are more likely to find honest political dialogue from those who never intend to make a profitable career out of politics than from anyone currently engaged in that pursuit.

This is the difference between Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh.  Each man has a different objective.  For Michael Steele, the goal should be to get back to basics on core principles of our party, and to regain the confidence of the country in the Republican brand — which can only be done by acknowledging where our politicians have failed and increasing the level of accountability to show that we are serious about more than just winning elections.   His job is also to present our party in the best light possible, which means he cannot continue to speak off-the-cuff when the media is now closely paying attention to every word he says and looking for an opportunity to further divide the Republican party into factions by using our Chairman’s own words against him.

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, and a darn good one at that.  You don’t get paid what he gets paid without delivering the goods and the advertisers 3 hours a day / 5 days a week.  In the process of that entertainment, he shares his own opinion on the present administration and what he believes the next steps should be for conservatives who don’t agree with the direction of this country under President Obama.  Love him, hate him, or call him a drug addict — it doesn’t have any effect on the guy at all.  It might make lefties feel better about themselves to rip Rush every day, and good for them if that’s the case.  It just doesn’t do much to move the leftist/statist agenda forward.  At some point,  surely even the leftist might question the wisdom of all Barack’s free spending.  Or maybe not.  Some people are just hard-core enough that they don’t care that these bills will be paid by our children and grandchildren just as long as they get their “free government stuff”.

To Michael Steele, I offer these words of advice from former (?) pro wrestler and current Disney “star” The Rock, “Know your role”.  There’s a time to speak out, and a time to shut up.   A wise chairman knows what time it is.

pulling no punches

Ah…seems that our RNC Chairman had something interesting to say about Senator Specter becoming a Democrat.  This bridge has been incinerated.  There’s no turning back now, Senator Specter.  Either way it’s going to be a tough election campaign.

Here’s Michael Steele (quoted at Politico):

Some in the Republican Party are happy about this. I am not.

Let’s be honest-Senator Specter didn’t leave the GOP based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record.

Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don’t do it first.

And Steele’s not quite done yet.

CBS News:

Steele called Specter’s maneuver a “cold, crass political calculation by a senator who could not get reelected through a nominating process in the Republican party.”

“This has nothing to do with philosophy and principle and all those wonderful-sounding words.”

It’s rich of Senators Specter, Snowe, and to some extent, Lindsey Graham to accuse the Republican Party of wanting to throw the moderates overboard.  I say to them:  Where’s the evidence?  President Bush supported Specter, as did many other prominent Republicans, including the unfortunate Rick Santorum, over the more conservative Pat Toomey.  The Republican Party ultimately supports the candidate they believe has the best chance to win the contest.  In some cases,  that candidate happens to be a moderate.

Our party is more pragmatic than conservative.  That’s why we are struggling – because we value winning over any other objective.  Ideas motivate people.  Ideas fire people up and get them excited about their involvement in the party.  Where’s the creativity?  Where’s the ideas?  What does our party stand for, and how do we get back to those core values? There’s nothing wrong with being the party of NO when the current policies are wrong.  But it wouldn’t hurt us to come up with a few alternative proposals to the Democrat agenda that won’t continue to compromise our nation’s financial future.

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.