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.
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.
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:
Michael Steele – GOPAC , former Lt. Governor of Maryland and unsuccessful candidate for US Senate in 2006.
Chuck Yob – Successful Michigan businessman, GOP fundraiser and Michigan National Committeeman
Saul Anuzis – Chairman of the Michigan Republican State Committee
Alec Poitevint – Georgia’s Republican National Committeeman
Katon Dawson – Republican Party Chairman of South Carolina , the state that had the best performance for Republicans during this election cycle.
Jim Greer – Florida’s Republican party Chairman
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.