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The Coming GOP Purge

A Cure for Some of Our Ills

There has been, is and will be a lot of talk about what the GOP needs to do to win over voters in 2008. All such scribblings and conversations are erroneous and vain. There is very little the GOP can do to win back the confidence of voters. Sure, politics is local and good candidates combined with good campaigns can find victory in bad electoral years.

On the whole, however, the GOP is just not going to win. For one thing, all the talk about what the GOP needs to do to win the hearts and minds of voters will be impossible to implement. The GOP is out of power. So, when you hear a politician say the GOP needs to become the party of fiscal responsibility, the proper response is to laugh.

Right now, the GOP is responsible for very little. They’re in the minority. At the moment we still have the presidency but on the whole the Democrats are the ones playing offense. The opportunity for the Republicans to show the voters they’re interested in fiscal responsibility has passed. We had the chance, we blew it. There’s no reason for the people to give the Republicans another go after they had a working majority in every branch of government.

There are few things the out of power party can do to convince voters of meaningful action. One of the best is a purge. Let’s be frank, if George Bush was a prime minister in Britain he would have been forced to resign years ago. In the system we have now, it’s about impossible to remove entrenched leadership.

This isn’t to say it can’t be done. State party chairs, national leaders, elected leaders, all need to step down. (Gosh, it would also help a lot to get rid of Bush, a lot.) For elected leaders it’s not so important they retire than they simply fade away from the spotlight. The voters need to see the party they put out power (or the party they want to put out of power) is making significant, meaningful and public changes to personnel and message.

I’m not suggesting the GOP surrender its conservatism, just its leadership and message. Conservatism works because it yields to tradition and history (normally in ways that work). But it does take new applications to keep conservatism meaningful. Ronald Reagan wanted to cut taxes, deregulate and defeat communism. Now, taxes, communism and regulation aren’t on the minds of voters. Deal with it.

So, a summary. We need new leadership, fresh faces, new ideas (really, new applications of conservative values) in order to convince voters we’re making strides to meet their needs and demands. Even then, it might be 2010 or 2012 before the voters get the message.

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7 Responses

  1. More like 2014 or 2016.

    But, you’re on the correct track. I wrote something somewhat similar a while ago:

    republiCon, or Republican? Here Is The Difference

    Submitted by TwoPuttTommy on January 14, 2008 – 2:08pm.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, many of you have heard the term “neo-conservative”, and wondered what it meant. For the sake of discussion, let’s compare/contrast in a “republiCon” versus “Republican” method. For instance:

    Ronald Reagan = Republican
    George W. Bush = republiCon

    Whether you liked President Reagan or not, whether you liked his politics or not, most reasonable people will agree that President Reagan was authentic, consistent, and principled. When his administration got caught up in the Iran-Contra Scandal, President Reagan spoke to the nation and accepted responsibility. What President Reagan said, is well-worth hearing again:

    more, here:

    http://www.mnblue.com/node/1021

  2. I suspect you’re probably right, Marty. I would say this, though — the D’s are highly overconfident right now and they could blow it yet. Two-Putt Tommy would appear to be Exhibit A. It won’t take people until 2014 or 2016 to figure out that the Democrats have even less ideas than the intellectually exhausted GOP does. The opportunity to turn things around will come much sooner, assuming that the deadwood has been purged. Problem is, that’s a big assumption.

  3. Let me get this straight: The Democrats have shown that they are intellectually, morally and polictically corrupt, or bankrupt. Your solution is to admit that Republicans are, too, and throw all of those who have been fighting these Democrats under the bus?

    How about this? How about we decide that Republicans are better than Democrats, find ways to prove it, and then get that message to a people now largely in thrall to the liberal media?

    The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves. If we /had/ new leaders, what would, or could, you or I do differently than we’re already doing? Leaders don’t win elections alone.

  4. Two-Putt–

    Taking responsibility is an important part of leadership and Reagan was something special, on this we agree. My guess, from looking at your website, we will have few other places on which we’ll be able to agree.

    MrD–

    The Dems are overconfident, and they might still be their own undoing. But I don’t like waiting on the opposition party to make mistakes.

    J. Ewing–

    I don’t like Democrats (more specifically, their beliefs), just to clear up where I stand on things. I’m also not saying I think Republicans are morally, intellectually or politically corrupt.

    What I am saying is that the GOP needs new leadership. I understand our present leaders have been fighting Democrats for a long time, I appreciate that. Guess what? These leaders I’m talking about can still battle Democrats and their ideas, just in less public roles.

    This is the natural evolution of any fighting force. You have to take experienced people off of the front lines. Just because they’re off the frontlines (i.e., not in leadership roles in government) doesn’t mean they’re not helping the cause in other ways.

    Mr. Ewing, I agree with you, the best chances for a Republican resurgence is to engage the voter with ideas and solutions.

    However, we have to address how the message will be recieved. The GOP has failed to live up to its word (or so the perception is among voters, including me and many of the people on the MNGOP state committee whom I heard speak at the MNGOP state convention). as such, the voters will eye any rhetoric from our present leadership with skepticism or even disdain.

    In fact, I hope Bush doesn’t do a thing publicly in the upcoming. He’s been fighting Democrats a long time but he’s someone the voters are just not going to trust or believe or want to hear from. That’s a reality.

    The voters have no reason to believe rhetoric from people who have failed them before. One way to mend this fact is to change leadership. If the voters see the GOP admitting to (percieved or real) weaknesses and failings by making changes (something very common in parliamentary systems) it will go a long way in helping us convince voters we’re serious about changing their perceptions of the GOP.

    Yes, I think Republicans have better ideas but ideas themselves don’t win elections. It’s like selling a product with a celebrity endorsement. Sometimes you need a new celebrity (because your original one gets arrested, falls of the wagon or does some other bad things).

    You can’t think of politics as simply a battle between ideas. Politics is much more encompassing and often the logistics of politics is more important than the ideas of politics.

  5. Martin, politics is the process of improving people’s lives; of improving society.

    Unfortunately, to republicans, that’s not what poltics is about, at all.

  6. TwoPutt–

    I replied to your comment in an upcoming post, should publish tomorrow sometime.

  7. […] Posted on July 10, 2008 by Marty Andrade I don’t normally do this but a comment from MN Blue contributor Tommy-Two-Putt really shows the difference between the two competing […]

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