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THE NEXT 2 YEARS COULD BE CRITICAL FOR REPUBLICANS

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The GOP is literally at a make or break point that could a establish a fait accompli   

As we enter into the closing year of the new millennium’s first decade, the approaching official national census process is where some, if not a large portion of the battle for our political future will take place.

After the census has been taken in 2010, every legislative district from which we elect council members in local and city governments to state legislators and members of congress will be redrawn based upon the population shifts determined by the census.

This means that once those figures have been established, during 2010, state legislatures will spend the following year redrawing new legislative districts.

Despite laws that try to regulate how legislative maps can be drawn and try to eliminate gerrymandering, redistricting is primarily a political process that is left up to the political party or parties with majority control at the time that redistricting occurs. That said, the powers that be use their majority status to creatively draw new legislative districts that favor their party. A handful of states have separatecommissions that draw the district lines.  Some of those grant veto to the states governors and some don’t.  But regardless, even those commissions, involved in those 6 or states, contain a degree of politcal leanings.

In either event, by using a range of election results from over the last 8 years or so, party leaders establish where their favorable votes come from. Using that as their basis, they draw districts that contain a plurality of population centers that favor their party.

This allows the majority political party to substantially consolidate power by creating new election districts that are likely to send more of their kind to their county seats and state capitols as well as those who we send to congress.

Regardless of the laws that are designed to take political influence out of the redistricting process and despite the various state redistricting commissions that are set up to oversee the process, it is an entirely political process. You must understand that the politicians create the new districts maps themselves or appoint the redistricting commissions regulating the process. Even when the courts have to step in, it remains a political process…….Who appoints the judges that make the rulings on this type of stuff?…..The politicians. So no matter what, it is a fact that the redistricting process is a political process. To pretend it isn’t, is a demonstration of naiveté that should prohibit one from even discussing politics. The only arguable point may be the varying degree of politicization that the process holds for one state or another.

Keeping that in mind, in one sense the census will, or could benefit, Republicans on the national level.  Having the majority in various state legislatures is key though. 

Areas such as the Northeast will see a decreased sizes in population. That will result in several Northeastern states losing congressional seats. The region has practically no congressional Republicans left. Connecticut’s Chris Shays was one of the last few holdouts and his overreaching attempts to appeal to  Democrat by essentially voting like a Democrat didn’t hack it. Republicans did not like his trying to be a liberal and liberals did not find him liberal enough so he’s out.

But the loss of seats through redistricting in the Northeast, where Republicans don’t have many seats, will favor Republicans where they are still strong….the South and West.

The census will show a strong increase in Southern population and so will the West. That means the representation lost in places like New Jersey and New York will be added to places like Florida and California, where the increased population will get increased representation. Except for California that bodes well for Republicans, but not in and of itself.

The party in power of each individual state legislature will ultimately determine the final redistricting maps. The party in charge at the time will create new districts that favor themselves and increases their own pluralities in their state capitol. They will do the same with their own states congressional delegation to washington, DC, as they draw congressional districts that favor their party as well.

So that means, if, for example, New Jersey has A Democrat Governor and a Democrat majority in the state senate and the state assembly, which they do now, Democrats will make their existing state legislative districts more favorable to electing Democrats. They will also draw congressional districts that are inclined to do the same. In fact, with the possible loss of one seat due to relatively decreased population growth, the Democrat dominated state legislature would probably emaciate one of the rare congressional districts that Republicans have held, forever, in Northern New Jersey. In the recent 2008 election, incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Fergusson retired and his seat was won by a Republican state senator named Leonard Lance. After redistricting, he and his seat will probably be gerrymandered out of existence.

This all points to the following .

  • The GOP Must Act Quickly

We need to select a Republican National Chairman who has a vision of inclusiveness and a passionate command of the issues and ideological fervor that is rooted in the conservative foundation that has always been the basis of our most productive legislative sessions and our most successful election cycles. That person must also have the capacity for exceptional organizational development and cutting edge thinking that can exploit the internet and the grassroots. The new chairman must also be willing to act quickly and accept the fact that we need to prepare for the redistricting process that begins in 2010.  Any loss of time leading up to 2010 will wreak havoc on our prospects for the decade to follow. (Newt…..are you reading this?)

  • A Bottom Up Strategy

The new Republican National Committee Chairman must immediately focus on and direct all resources to local and state legislative elections. This may sound out of place for the “national” committee, however, by the time the end of 2010 rolls around, it is the state level which will strongly effect our national prospects in the redistricting process that occurs at the start of the next decade.  By electing more officials on the bottom of the ballot, in stste elections, we will be better able to effect races further up the ballot.

By spending the next two years establishing strong candidates to run strong campaigns for state senate and assembly seats, we will increase control of the state legislative bodies that are ultimately responsible for the redistricting that they will undertake after the 2010 census results. With that power and opportunity we will be able to draw new congressional districts that are favorable for increasing Republican pluralities in the newly drawn seats that will be up for grabs in 2012.

Without control of the redistricting process Democrats will have the opportunity to gerrymander more Republicans out of office and make it even harder to get elected into office . That will only make the decade to come more difficult for us to increase our state legislative and congressional prospects.

The new chairman of the RNC, whoever it may be, better be willing to utilize the little time we have between now and then wisely. The once every decade redistricting process that the new chairman should prepare us for could have more of an effect on GOP prospects and our regaining majority status in congress than any of the elections that will follow

 punchline-politics21

GOOD ANSWERS

I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote. But I agree with the arguments the minority made.
–President Bill Clinton, on the 1991 Gulf War resolution

“I’m not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president.”
–Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents

I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.
–David Dinkins, New York City Mayor, answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes.

Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.
–Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It’s only the people who make them unsafe.
–Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia

I have lied in good faith.
— Bernard Tapie, French politician accused of fixing a soccar match involving the team he owned, when his sworn alibi fell apart in court.

I don’t need bodyguards.
–Jimmy Hoffa, labor leader

Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
–Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC

The police are not here to create disorder. They’re here to preserve disorder.”
–Former Chicago mayor Daley during the infamous 1968 Democratic Party convention

China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.
–Former French President Charles de Gaulle

 

 

 

 

 

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WHO WILL LEAD REPUBLICANS BACK INTO POWER

As the GOP recovers from a drubbing at that ballot box that served them with an eviction notice at the White House and a foreclosure on many seats in the house and senate, a reorganization is in order.

Crucial to a successful reorganization is the selection of it’s next national chairman.

Florida Senator mel Martinez

Florida Senator Mel Martinez

After the losses which cost them their majorities in the house and senate during the 2006 midterm elections, the powers that be, hastily installed Florida Senator Mel Martinez as the new chairman. At the same time they also elected Mike Duncan, a veteran political strategist and former Treasurer General Counselor to the RNC, to run the “day to day operations” of the national committee. In other words Duncan was actually the Chairman and Senator Martinez was to be the face of the party.

It was an arrangement that did not last long.

A few months into this arrangement, Senator Martinez stepped down and Mr. Duncan had the title all to himself. Not that it mattered. Whether it was his fault or not Republicans were outspent, out argued , outmaneuvered and voted out.

Outgoing RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

Outgoing RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

I will not blame Mike Duncan for the hemorrhaging of Republicans in this election cycle. That began before he took office, less than a year ago, and it simply continued for the time period that he was in office as chairman. It is more than likely that no individual chairman of the RNC could have prevented the losses Republicans suffered but we do know that the chairman did not help prevent them from happening.

So I do not blame Mike Duncan but I do harbor ill will to the party officials who gave up after 2006 and installed quick replacements to head up the Republican party. It was quite apparent that the party was simply trying to just get through the last two years of President Bush’s term in office. The RNC leadership were more like caretakers than leaders. They did not seek to adopt a leadership that was cutting edge and enthusiastic about revolutionizing the capabilities of the party organization and preparing us for the mother of all elections, the presidency.

It is the same complacency that helped cost Republicans their majorities in congress. Elected officials lost the anti establishment thinking that won them favor back in 1994. After becoming “the establishment” they slowly began to forget that government was there to work for the people not for the people running government.

So here we are saluting a new President-Elect, a new Democrat President-Elect. One who will be partnering with a majority of legislators who are also Democrats.

It might sound depressing to fellow Republicans but the truth is it is that for a number of reasons it is not depressing:

  • Can’t Get Much Worse -We have just about bottomed out. It truly can’t get much worse so the prospects for improving our numbers in the next election are good.

 

  • Liberals Gone Wild -With Democrats in total control of government, there is little to hold them back and prevent them from showing their true colors. When those true colors come out, Americans will realize that the direction they offer is too sharp a turn to the left for their tastes. The last time they had total control was in 1993 when Bill Clinton was President. After two years of liberals gone wild, Americans gave control, of both the house and senate, to Republicans for the first time in forty years. It was something that Republicans could not achieve on their own. It took the combined left leaning radicalization of today’s Democrat party to bring that about and it is about to happen again. In fact the greatest challenge that the new President will face comes from his own party. He will be struggling against them and fighting them in an effort to lead from the center rather than the left.

  • The War – Although the economy helped push the war off the front burner, the changing tide of the surge in Iraq also made the war less of an issue because violence and combat was down and it was being won. The war in Iraq did not help Republicans in this election cycle but not because it was unnecessary, as democrats claim,  but, as I explain in the link referenced here*, Americans became weary and leery of the war. While the surge was delayed and the administration wavered, violence spiked as a result of a resurgence of radical Islamic terrorists in Iraq. That is when Democrats successfully exploited a declining resolve to continue an effort that people were beginning to think was becoming a quagmire. Since the increased deployment of troops into Iraq, the situation improved and there is light at the end of the tunnel. As a result, despite the cries of candidate Obama to end the war, President Obama will not be withdrawing all of our forces from Iraq anytime soon.  Now that he has seen the national security data that demonstrates the dangers of his misguided promises as a candidate, as a President he will not be so quick to screw things up. Ultimately Republicans will be proven right on the issue.

 

  • The Economy – Typically our economy goes through cycles of growth and contraction every ten to fifteen years. More accurately, just about every 11 years, we encounter economic turmoil brought on by the cumulative effects of industrial shifts, world events and other related circumstances. That being said, it is how we maneuver through these cycles that determines their severity and the length of time that we endure them. The liberal propensity to raise taxes and redistribute wealth during these times does not help. Those policies simply deepen the crisis and draw out the cycle. If the knee jerk, liberal tendency towards more taxes and an expansion of government does occur, Republicans will be able to stem their losses and start increasing their numbers. The current crisis that we are experiencing is not a result of Republican economic policy. It is a result of their complacency and unwillingness to differentiate themselves from liberals when it came to spending. Our own President had no problem with cutting taxes, a good thing, but he also never cut spending and neither did fellow Republicans in congress.

All of this allows for those Republicans, who are in office, to offer alternatives to the counterproductive liberal agenda that will undoubtedly dominate national policy. To effectively achieve that, Republican members of congress need to reestablish their fiscally conservative roots and inherent sense of an offensive strategy when it comes to national security. The fact that, as Republicans, we choose to eliminate threats rather than tolerate them will be made much clearer with liberals in control and it must not be ignored.

Now that Republicans are not in control we now have the luxury that Democrats had. The luxury of not having to defend our leadership. Democrats will now have the chance to be held accountable for everything that happens. They will have to take blame for the results of increasing taxes, increasing unnecessary regulations and increasing the size and cost of government. With their leadership comes responsibility. With responsibility comes credit as well as blame. After eight years of taking blame for all that is not liked, Republicans can now luxuriate in being able to place blame on Democrats as they have done to Republicans.

But while those Republicans elected to congress do their job by providing alternatives to liberal policies and maintaining their role as the loyal opposition, our political leaders must hit the ground running.

The question now is, who is best suited to reorganize and reinvigorate Republicans? The person needed to rally Republicans must be articulate. But a good speaker is not all that we need. The person who is made the new chairman of the party must have a passionate desire to advance the cause, incredible organizational skills, the ability to delegate responsibilities to the right and most qualified people, endless energy and stamina as well as creativity and resourcefulness and a proven record of success.

The new chairman needs the same type of vision and commitment to conservative principles that the freshmen members of congress who were elected in the 1994 Republican revolution had. The new chairman must have a vision which understands that the best government is the government that gets out of the way and allows freedom to flourish by defending it at home and abroad and by insuring that opportunity is available to all.

Currently, there are seven frontrunners. They include:

Steele

Mike Steele

Michael SteeleGOPAC , former Lt. Governor of Maryland and unsuccessful candidate for US Senate in 2006.

Chuck Yob

Chuck Yob

Chuck Yob – Successful Michigan businessman, GOP fundraiser and Michigan National Committeeman

Saul Anuzis

Saul Anuzis

Saul AnuzisChairman of the Michigan Republican State Committee

Alec Pointevint

Alec Pointevint

Alec Poitevint – Georgia’s Republican National Committeeman

Katon Dawson

Katon Dawson

Katon DawsonRepublican Party Chairman of South Carolina , the state that had the best performance for Republicans during this election cycle.

Jim Greer

Jim Greer

Jim Greer – Florida’s Republican party Chairman

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman – A former Chair of Tennessee’s GOP and the former campaign manager of Mike Huckabee’s failed candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

Speculation has not only Huckabee’s former campaign guru on the list, Mike Huckabee himself is rumored to be a potential contender. So is one of Huckabee’s former opponents for the GOP presidential nod, Mitt Romney.

Of all these names the one person who I believe could do the most for the Republican National Committee is Mitt Romney.

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Mitt Romney

Romney has been successful at every job that he has undertaken. He is passionate. He is articulate, savvy and has an eye for recruiting those who are the best at their jobs. Mitt Romney could do wonders for the party. He would be able to provide the GOP’s highly rated, get out the vote, 72 hour program with great improvements and he would create a top notch center for Republican organization, communications, fundraising and creative strategy.

Problem is that I want Mitt Romney to be able to run for President. I am looking forward to either him or Sarah Palin being our 2012 nominee. Becoming the political leader of the party does not help him establish the bipartisan image that a Presidential nominee needs. If he did as a good a job for the party as I think he would, having been the chairman of the party he rebuilds, could help him get the party’s nomination though.

However, I feel that a truly smart RNC chairman would involve Mitt Romney and utilize his expertise. Doing so would keep Romney free to expand his nonpolitical credentials while still allowing for his Midas touch to assist behind the scenes.

As for the other names mentioned, Mike Steele, Katon Dawson and Jim Greer are the only names that really interest me. Each of them have demonstrated ideological superiority to one extent or the other and have achieved outstanding results for Republicans.

Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

One name not mentioned but is at the top of my list, is former Maryland Governor Robert Erhlich. After losing reelection in the 2006 GOP sea of change, Bob Ehrlich has not been discussed much. That is a shame because he happens to be one of the best in the newer generation of conservative politics. He was the first Republican to be elected governor of Maryland in almost 60 years. Through it all Ehrlich maintained his principles and conservative ideology. Not once did he try to win favor by acting like a democrat. Instead, he successfully implemented conservative ideology into government application. He also happens to be articulate and effective in his ability to explain and deliver the conservative message.

 

Sometimes referred to as a Kempite Republican, Bob Erhlich could be just what we need to rekindle our spirit and rally the cause.

Whoever the grand poobahs of the GOP hierarchy install as chairman, it is my greatest hope that they recruit the right people to carry out the mission that is ahead.

Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini

People like political Internet champion Patrick Ruffini who could incorporate the most cyber savvy organization politics has ever seen and Ralph Reed who is a master at reaching out and organizing the grassroots.

Ralph Reed

Ralph Reed

Being the minority party is not a problem to be feared. Becoming the minority is what we needed to fear and now, we are there.  So the worst is over. Now we have the chance to take advantage of what Democrats took advantage of for a long time, minority status and the ability to place blame on the powers that be that comes with it.

From here we can only come back, and if we take the right steps, we can come back quickly. To do so will require that our first steps be the right steps . In this case that would be done by picking the right person to map out our future and recruit the brightest lights to help illuminate the fast track to the reinvigoration that the party is capable of.

punchline-politics1

 

Q: What’s the problem with Barack Obama jokes?


A: His followers don’t think they’re funny and other people don’t think they’re jokes.

 

 

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