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RACE TO LEAD GOP’S FUTURE SHAPING UP

As the McCain led defeat of Republicans sets in, high hopes rise. As the race for President ended, the battle for the GOP’s future has begun.

Several days ago, I disclosed the likely contenders for Republican National Committee Chairman and some of those mentioned are beginning to fire their first shots.

antanuzislogon1One of those touted to want the job, Michigan Republican State Committee Chairman Saul Anuzis, has fired up a web site for the job .

A name that I did not list among the seven most mentioned contenders was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. I for one, don’t think that Newt has a desire to reenter the political fray. I know and appreciate that he is completely involved in the ideological fight and the battle of ideas that he relishes in the more realistic world of the free, private sector. But I do not anticipate his willingness to actually get back into the political arena.

Would his return be welcomed? That’s not a question for Democrats. They picked the leader of their party when Barack Obama became President-Elect Barack Obama. It is a question for Republicans to answer.

As a Republican myself, I would welcome Newt‘s involvement. He is an asset. He knows politics and he knows the issues. He also puts the party, as well as the nation, before himself. He demonstrated that when after Republicans lost some seats in the House of Representatives back in the late 90’s, he offered his resignation as speaker. He did so because the media made him more important than the issues he was dealing with. He felt that he was such a lightening rod, that his continued role would take away from the issues we had to deal with.

Years later, now that he is not involved in the legislative post he once held, the party leadership role might be just right for him, as well as the GOP.

Of course, the left will begin every campaign that they run in 2010 and beyond, with the name “Newt Gingrich”. They will continue the demonization process of Gingrich and the GOP as they try to put an angelic face on themselves. But, will that have a bearing on the effective direction that Newt could put the party on?

The public image that Democrats will try to create for Republicans with Newt Gingrich’s face as the RNC chairman, would have an impact on initial public perception. But would the negative impact of anti-Newt, liberal propaganda outweigh the positive effect of Gingrich’s leadership for the party?

In the long term, probably not, but this, I can’t I can’t be sure of.

I do know Newt Gingrich understands what the GOP stands for and he knows how to shape the arguments and messages that we need. He is also capable of employing the right people to help the RNC articulate that message. Additionally, he helps reaffirm the base when it comes to where the party is going. Newt represents the conservative political thinking that many feel the party has strayed from……a straying away that coincided with the decline of Republican political preeminence since his departure from the congressional stage. He could also create great cause for many disaffected libertarians to join the Republican ranks.

Right now the party needs direction. Not just organizational direction in setting a strategic plan for future elections but also direction of purpose. We need to make that which differentiates us from Democrats clear. Over the past 5 or 6 years the lines of difference have been blurred. For one thing we had an incumbent Republican President who was about as fiscally conservative as Imelda Marcos in a shoe store. For another thing, we had Republican elected officials who allowed Democrats to get the upper hand when it comes to rhetoric denouncing the wars we are in. Many Republicans backed away from their public defense of our war efforts, fearful that too many voters were questioning it’s worthiness.  The sad fact being that too many elected officials allow themselves to be fearful of perceptions and unconcerned with their convictions.  Too many lack the cojones to use their convictions and stand up to wrongly held public perceptions.  That however, is not a fault possessed by Newt Gingrich

So we need someone who can help distinguish the differences between us and Democrats.
Newt could do for us if he chose to. He could actually energize the forces and he has proven to be capable of organizing national campaigns that promote the application of conservative legislative principles.

It’s difficult to make a decision when you do not yet know all your options, so although I am inclined to embrace Newt Gingrich’s wisdom, innovation capabilities and sense of ideological conviction, I reserve my own final conclusion until I know who else is wanting the job of Chairman. I refer to the word “wanting” because there are groups seeking to recruit some names. I do not want someone who has to be convinced that they should be the chairman of the RNC. I want someone who wants it and wants it for all the right reasons. Someone who wants to do the hard work and wants to fight for our cause.

I admire some of the names out there. People like former Maryland Lt. Governor Mike Steele of GOPAC.

I agree with him on most all issues and I appreciate the messages that he uses in trying to bring the point home. Of course being African-American, if Steele is selected to be chairman, the loony, left, libs will say that his being black was the only reason we picked him, but you know what?……I really don’t care what inconsequential, liberal, loudmouths think. They will be fighting the titular leader of their party, President-Elect Obama, as they try to force him to lead from the left instead of the middle. So they have their own battle to wage. This one is between us republicans……”No Liberals Allowed”….thank you.

In any event I have no objection to Mike Steele for the spot. He is a good, loud voice but based on abilities between him and Newt, I lean towards Newt.
In either case, both of these guys, as pointed out in the Washington Times, have not gone public with their desires. They seem to be wrangling behind the scenes and hoping to create a public yearning for their expertise that makes them humbly answer some sort of call to duty. If Gingrich continues to be coy and Mike Steele makes it clear that he wants the job, he’s got my support.

Two of my favorite choices would be Mitt Romneywho has almost as much of the ideological qualities and articulation abilities that Newt Gingrich has, but without the image problem and baggage. Former Maryland Governor Bob Erhlich is also a talented favorite of mine who has the ability to help us reclaim our ideological strengths. However, neither of these two have indicated the desire to be the new chairman and as for Romney, I would rather see him gear up for a run for President in 2012 then get bogged down in partisan politics. Right now, him and Sarah Palin need to convince me which will best qualified for our presidential nomination, so both should remain focused on that.

In regards to one of those who have made their RNC leadership intentions clear, Michigan Republican State Committee Chairman Saul Anuzis has potential but so does South Carolina Republican Chair Katon Dawson Chairman and Florida’s GOP Chairman Jim Greer. But I do commend Anuzis for naot playing any games and making his intentions clear. Unlike him, Dawson has been using the slogan “Renew, Reform, Restore,” in a survey that he has mailed out to a few hundred national committee members, the members who will elect the new chairman. Greer has been on the phones and testing the water.

All of these people have produced positive Republican results in their states. Of course though, Florida and South Carolina have fairly positive atmospheres for conservative oriented causes and campaigns. Saul Anuzis is relatively successful in a state that is not quite as open and friendly to Republicans as his counterparts in the South. To me, that shows that Saul Anuzis has plenty of grit and the type of underdog tenacity that the GOP needs nationally.

All of this speculation and conjecture is nice but there exists a very crucial question that we, as a party, must answer before we select someone to lead our party. What direction do we want the party to go in? Knowing the direction we want to go in could help us decide which leader is best suited to lead us in that direction.

Part of the answer to that question lies not in the race for RNC Chairman. It lies in the Republican leadership of the house and senate.

If our elected Republicans in congress, the guys on the front line of the ideological battle in government, elect the status quo to house and senate minority leadership, than we can write off any hopes for increasing political power in the near term.

People like Eric Cantor of Virginia need to win election as the Republican whip and I for one would like to Indiana’s Mike Pence assume overall leadership of the house.

On the Senate side, South Dakota’s John Thune is a favorite of mine. He has solid credentials and great vision. Unfortunately, the senate is an institution that offers less opportunities to young guns. Seniority rules there.

The logistics of the fact that US senators are elected from an entire state causes individual senators to be less cutting edge and more moderate than their counterparts in the house, who get elected from a segment of the electorate in their home state, that may have more extreme views than do the entirety of a state. But the legislative leadership that republicans have in congress will have a lot to do with the effectiveness of whoever is chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Our leaders in the house and senate must be leading legislative efforts that are in sync with the direction and message that the party is taking. If we, as a party, are preaching spend less, drill more, reduce government intrusiveness and fight harder, it won’t be believed if congressional Republicans are approving Democrat budgets that are full of increased social welfare and government programs, limiting our abilities to exploit natural resources and accepting retreat on any front in the war on terror.

We need legislative leaders who are of the mind of those who were a part of the ‘94 Republican revolution (which was orchestrated, sponsored and led by Newt Gingrich) that took congressional control away from the liberal party. If our congressional Republicans were of that same thinking now, half the battle would be over.  Mike Pence, Eric Cantor and John Thune are just exceptional examples of that thinking and are the type of legislative leadership we need.

Ultimately, as for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. I would like to see a power sharing effort that involves Gingrich, Steele, Dawson, Anuzis and Romney.

Together I would like to see them hammer out the road map. Then let Gingrich shape the debate, Mike Steele deliver the message, Katon Dawson and Saul Anuzis organize the ground game and Romney raise the money. Is this likely?………Nope. But it could be ideal.

For now I would be inclined to give Dawson, Anuzis and Steele the inside track and hope that if any one of those three get the job, they will reach out and work with the team that I would like to see work together.

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Don’t say this to a cop

The top 20 things not to say to a cop when he pulls you over.

20. I can’t reach my license unless you hold my beer.

19. Sorry officer, I didn’t realize my radar detector wasn’t plugged in.

18. Aren’t you the guy from the villiage people?

17. Hey, you must have been doing 125 to keep up with me, good job.

16. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical shape to be a police officer.

15. I was going to be a cop, but I decided to finish high school instead.

14. Bad cop. No donut.

13. You’re not going to check the trunk, are you?

12. Gee, that gut sure doesn’t inspire confidence.

11. Didn’t I see you get your butt kicked on cops?

10. Is it true that people become cops because they are too dumb to work at McDonalds?

9. I pay your salary

8. So uh, you on the take or what?

7. Gee officer, that’s terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning.

6. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.

5. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there is no other cars around, that’s how far they are ahead of me.

4. What do you mean have I been drinking? You are the trained specialist.

3. Well, when I reached down to pick up my bag of crack, my gun fell off of my lap and got lodged between the brake and the gas pedal, forcing me to speed out of control.

2. Hey, is that a 9mm? That’s nothing compared to this 44 magnum.

1. Hey, can you give me another one of those full cavity searches?

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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

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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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