Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:20 am Post subject: Are the Republicans splitting?
Are the Republicans splitting?
It seems so. Karl Rove, along with his rich corporate backers, are putting money together essentially to oppose the Tea Party's primary challenges to the good old boys who support endless spending.
In the wake of the last election (which the Republicans figured to win), there is a self-examination going on amongst Republican insiders. The Republican establishment is blaming the Tea Party for the loss. The Tea Party blames the establishment.
American Crossroads, Rove's PAC, is setting up a group called the Conservative Victory Project. Their stated purpose is to get money to the most conservative electable in each seat. The charge is that the money will be used to help sitting and establishment Republicans survive primary challenges mounted by the Tea Party.
American Crossroads, a super PAC backed by GOP strategist Karl Rove, has launched a new effort to combat the recent trend of fringe Republican candidates who have won primaries with the help of outside groups, only to lose otherwise winnable elections.
Named the Conservative Victory Project, Steven J. Law, president of American Crossroads, told the New York Times bluntly over the weekend that the program was mounted in response to "broad concern" about unviable candidates who had ultimately "blown a significant number of races."
The project will effectively serve as a foil to the organizations that have helped produce failed Senate candidates like Missouri's Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock of Indiana, Sharron Angle, who lost a Nevada Senate election in 2010, and Christine O’Donnell, who similarly lost in Delaware in 2010.
Mother Jones summarized the campaign's goal as "No more Todd Akins. No more Richard Mourdocks. No more Republican primaries that produce divisive, gaffe-spewing GOP candidates." Akin and Mourdock torpedoed their own campaigns last year after making controversial comments about rape. [....]
The truth, of course, is more complex. A tale seldom told, Todd Akins -- the Missouri senate candidate who made those foolish remarks about rape -- was not the Tea Party candidate. He beat the Tea Party candidate.
But the Tea Party won seats as well. And the Tea Party candidates -- people like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz -- are the emerging new stars of the Republican party! The electoral effects of the Tea Party were mixed, but it is unfair to blame Romney's loss on them.
That isn't what this is really about. It's a matter of who will control the party in Washington. The party establishment, who are getting rich by 'delivering' for the clients of various lobbyists. It's widely acknowledged that Washington is in one of its more corrupt stages, and that, Democrat or Republican, one's pretty much as bad as another.
The Tea Party challenges the Establishment, possibly costing them all those $millions, the private jets, and those underage Dominican prostitutes. Who could blame the Establishment for fighting back? All the Tea Party wants is to restore America's finances.
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Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:14 pm Post subject:
You are usually fairly on point with this stuff, however in this case there are a few errors;
Todd Atkin caucused with the Tea Party in the House as a member of Congress, so he was most certainly a Tea Party backer and supporter as well as an active and recognized member of the movement;
As for Rubio being a Tea Party member;
Rubio doesn't caucus with the Tea Party caucus in the Senate, nor does Ted Cruz for that matter.
Just like many GOP candidates have embraced the endorsement but that doesn't mean they are members of the movement even though they have some of the same common goals.
You can't claim Rubio and then distance yourself from Atkin, it doesn't quite work that way.
As for Tea Party members who were "unelectable" in 2012 that actually cost the GOP Senate seats which were winnable:
All actively lost the seats where the GOP had been ahead by double digits, in the case of Mourdock, Dick Lugar the Senator he removed from the nomination was ahead in the polls by something to the tune of 30%.
Now say what you will about tax and spend soft Conservative GOP Senators, the reality is that even a GOP Senator like Dick Lugar is a better option then Joe Donnelly I can assure you of that,
In terms of 2010:
And in what would have been a total and utter moral deflation for the Democrats in losing Harry Reids Nevada Seat which he was polling behind "generic republican" we have:
All states that were lost because of the candidate.
The Tea Party elects Democrarts;
We can go about "Principal" and the "Right Kind of Conservative" all we want, from my standpoint in a State like Massachusetts if you want to win you run a "Scott Brown" - Type and he may vote against you 30% of the time, but its a hell of a lot better then running some raving nutcase who will get blown out and being left with another Democrat who votes with you 0% of the time.
The Tea Party doesn't get it, its what makes their movement interesting in terms of ideals but utterly unelectable on mass in reality.
Indiana doesn't want a Richard Mourdock, they want a Dick Lugar.
Now we have a Joe Donnelly a far worse option for the greater cause of the Tea Party then either of the Lugar or Mourdock would have been and that is 100% on the Tea Party.
Thank goodness someone in the GOP gets it;
The sooner Karl Rove can stop the locust like voting patterns of the Tea Party within Primaries the sooner the GOP can get control of the Senate, then once they have a majority then we can begin the conversation of "culling" the unfit.
The Republican establishment gave them the Romney campaign. To be clear, I don't think Romney, himself, is responsible for the loss of the election, but around the Jindal speech, I came to see how the Democrats do it. They seem a whole stage of development ahead of the Republicans in the use of social media, in TV ads, and probably in things I don't know about. The Romney campaign played right into the trap of confirming the stereotypes that Obama's campaign was spreading, while being unable to actually raise the issues.
They blew an election they should have won. They were responsible for the legacy of George W Bush, and they want to carry that on, just to keep the other guys out of control. The decent thing for them to do is to become elder statesmen.
The Tea Party didn't cause Romney's loss. Akins may have finally been endorsed by the Missouri Tea Party, but they were split between Akins and a woman. Diminish their effect as you may, the reason Cruz, Rubio, Toomey, and others, got elected was because they had the support of active Tea Party groups. And they got rid of some old welfare-state Republicans, high seniority people who were committed to spending, and whose constituency wanted it as well. I would imagine, on the Tea Party's score card, they have a very decent score, 'specially on impact. The new, Tea Party-backed senators are being widely recognized as rising stars.
They are succeeding in their project of taking and remaking the Republican Party. And that's a good thing. This is where we disagree. You go with the pro's. Not me.
Two reasons. First, because there is bound to be a reaction to the massive spending. The politician's play-book says this feeling will gradually dissipate, the Tea Party will fizzle, and all will Peace will again reign in the valley.
It may be cynical, but it's often true. What it ignores is that the spending is cumulative, ongoing, and increasing. It's like a running sore that's being irritated. It is akin to another burden being placed on the future population.
Some see down the road. Contemplate rolling over t-bills in a world of market-set interest rates. Say, the short term money on which they pay less than the official rate of inflation ... and buy them themselves ... now demanding 5%?
As the bonds transition from current rates to the new rates, there is going to be a need for more taxes. And reduced spending. And inflation.
But most feel the immediate threat to the benefits that they are receiving. Obamacare inflamed them, and if that were all there were to it, it would be fizzling. But it hasn't gone away. The on-going spending performance of the Obama gang has maintained the existing level of uncertainty, and added to it.
Add to that, the general mismanagement of the economy. This is what is coming. There is no recovery. Sure, it may not be negative growth ... they obviously juiced the economy going into the election ... and this was the price ... but there is no recovery.
Recovery is when the economy is creating positive growth on its own! With market-set interest rates, for example. And mark-to-market accounting. At this stage in a recovery, the economy ought to be creating 500,000 jobs a month. There are 8.5 million lost jobs to refill, after all.
That isn't happening. The conditions that produced the Tea Party in the first instance are only destined to grow.
So, it's a lot better that there is a channel in American politics where the resistence to the spending can express itself in the halls of Power.
In real life, politicians solve problems by spending money. These are Chicago politicians. The next lot might not be any better. It's the culture of Washington. We can see, they will not look that way for solutions. They kick the can down the road, but in so doing, they create an enormous load of debt to be off-loaded onto the next generation of Americans. They have every right to resist.
Without some way of channeling this resistance into electoral politics, and effective organization, American politicians will never be able to face up to the kind of spending cuts that should be taken now, in anticipation of what, otherwise, will be imposed on them. And on us.
The other part of it is ... where does the reaction to all this spending then go?
If conditions worsen, it will add to increasingly radicalization of the population. Who knows where that will end.
Second, because it is a large-scale movement with very restricted goals, with a maximum of decentralization and local control, no spokespeople, no media 'face', invisible in the national consciousness, it fights where Karl Rove -- and god knows what other cast of characters -- fight. It replaces money with participation. I think it is a very sophisticated strategy, and an exercise in the organization of the democratic will in action, accomplishing what slick PR firms do without the money and connections, by doing it at the grass roots.
It's an aside, because I accept that I have it wrong in some cases. But I got that claim about Akins from Karl Rove himself, on Hannity. It doesn't change things for me much. If you widen the lens, you can see Congress is stalemated, even with the present leadership. What would they do if Obama still had his double majority? The Tea Party didn't create the opposition to it, but they did a lot to organize it so that it had good candidates. Sometimes they were fooled. Often a young up-and-comer stepped forward, with other political ties. and they supported them. Some of these are unseasoned. It doesn't matter. It's the power that the Tea Party gives to the politics of Washington that will ultimately factor into its success.
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Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:04 pm Post subject:
We generally agree on the hell in a hand basket problem the current Senate has created;
However let me ask this;
Assuming Luger holds the nomination and retains Indiana (He was uncontested four years ago by the Dems)
Olympia Snowe doesn't throw her hands up and walk away from a surefire victory in Maine,
Jane Norton gets the nod over Ken Buck (She was polling 11% ahead of Bennett)
Mike Castle gets the nod over Christine O'Donnell (He was polling 22% ahead of Coons)
Sue Lowden gets the nod over Sharon Angle (Lowden was a very popular former Senator who was polling outside the margin of error over Harry Reid
Clint Didier and Dino Rossi don't give Patty Murray all the ammo during the primary she needs to skate away from a 6% lead Rossi had over her
And we don't even discuss Atkin or Rehberg's Senate Seats which the GOP was well ahead in both and assume they both still lose.
I think we can agree that even the "softest" Conservatives (Luger, Snowe etc) still result in much less of the Obama fueled agenda we have seen over the last four years.
However the concept that the Tea Party brings of having a "true believer" rather then a "likely vote" is why we find the Senate at:
At the moment I would be content with a brake pedal, which is what the above GOP majority would have given us, a counter balance to the House and a means to implement change without watching the President's agenda go unchecked.
The primary difference is that I don't need perfection in my Conservatives; or what the Tea Party perceives to be perfect I just want to stop the Democrats,
Rove's approach does that; the Tea Parties does not.
But what it is hard for you and I to get a handle on is the degree to which the broad mainstream of America is alienated from Congress, as it is presently functioning. Many of these people still vote, but many others do not. There were several million fewer voters in the last election than there were in 2008, and Romney actually got fewer votes than McCain!
Add to that, the poll that asked people to rank Congress, and found them to be ranked lower than head lice and genital warts ... not really, but lower than the French, and telemarkers ... the point being that respect for Congress is at historical lows.
And it's not altogether wrong, about the two parties being just wings of the Washington Party ... look at the farcical kabuki of the fiscal cliff, itself a way of kicking the can down the road ... and in the end, they decide that, jobs be damned, the payroll tax, tax on the rich, etc will go through.
Then they agreed to stall on the 'debt ceiling' until after the limits have already been breached. Huh? How do you do that?
Americans who are worried about their benefits, and all the spending, are seeing this circus. They wonder what to do ... the political avenue seemed blocked. People realize that politicians manipulate images on the media more than than thet listen to the people, and serve their community's interest.
They see partisan politics being played out as if there were no present emergency, and it not fixing anything. They aren't wrong.
Sorry, it may cost a few easy senate seats while the Tea Party gets it together ... and it may never get together ... but their representatives have to be accommodated.
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Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:32 am Post subject:
Of that point you and I agree 100%
The Tea Party NEEDS to be accommodated once their members are elected;
However the tact in which they take during GOP primaries to descend like locusts and represent themselves over the greater wishes of that Senate area or Congressional Seat must be addressed, and that is exactly what Karl Rove is doing.
Folks like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Jerry Moran represent the greater interest of their electoral base and those are Tea Party victories through and through and as such the GOP needs to back off and allow the voters of those areas voice to be heard.
However the hijinx surrounding Christine O'Donnell, and especially Richard Mourdock were situations where the "Tea Party knew best".
Rather then electable individuals the Tea Party tossed in true believers and as such got shelled in ridings nearly any other Republican could have dance to a victory in.
All because their ground organization led to a disproportionate number of their folks voting in primaries, no different then how Alberta got stuck with Ed Stelmach out of nowhere.
My opinion on this matter is no different on either side.
If the Tea Party stacks the deck in primaries to get unelectable selected, why can't the GOP counteract that effort by attempting to back better candidates?
I would be just as outraged if the Rove-Pack opted to try and replace someone like Jerry Moran in the GOP primary in the same manner that I was outraged when the Tea Party got Dick Luger turfed.
Run candidates which represent the interest of the majority of people in that area, not some Kamikaze candidate you need to spend the next decade apologizing for because their shared your position on some issue.
Don't take me for one saying Rove is off base with his plans. Just to be clear, he has every right to compete for those same voters. I just recognize his efforts to be negative for the Republican Party because it foments the split.
I think the Tea Party's valid point is that a big part of the sitting Senate Republicans are basically Dick Nixon Republicans -- you know, " ... we're all Keynesian now" Nixon. Otherwise called RINOs. Are they more interested in fixing the fiscal crisis or in feathering their own nests?
They have got comfortable with all the games that are played in Congress, games that are aimed at saving the Senators from the wrath of the people. They become retainers for big corporate interests, often, and have it made thereafter. Al Gore, for example, was the son of a US Senator, one of the leaders of the Southern Democrats, who the Republicans joined with other Democrats to overcome so the Civil Rights Act could be passed. Al Sr. treated Tennessee like it was his own, personal 'rotten borough', and based the family fortune more on representing Armand Hammer's Occidental Oil than the people of Tennesee. Al Gore Jr. grew up in the Watergate Hotel as much as Tennessee, but big daddy Gore tried to make his seat hereditary, so his low-wattage son could enjoy the gravy train. The last male Gore to hold a private sector job was junior's grandfather.
And he's only one of many, as far as using politics for personal enrichment is concerned. Al jr. still uses connections to become the world's foremost disaster entrepreneur, as well as Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Oscar-winning film producer. Not bad for a guy who didn't get the grades George W. Bush got at Harvard.
That's what the Tea Party is trying to blast out of the Congress, so some representatives who have some faint relationship with mainstream America can have a say.
What would Lugar do to help with the fiscal crisis? Come on, now. He was defeated when he was going for his 7th term!!! That would have been 49 years in the Senate, and you can't run until you are 30 years old! He has wanted to cozy up to Cuba, and he's for gun control. He rallied support for Obama's Supreme Court nominees -- a lame pair of Democratic party hacks if ever there were any.
On the other hand, he voted against medicare. But the point is, he's a liberal on some issues, and more conservative on others. He's like Lieberman, in that sense -- who also got 'primaried' by the Democrats. My point isn't that either he or Lieberman are bad people, but that Lugar doesn't show the starch necessary. But they aren't ''hawks' on spending -- and that's what is now required.
My biggest issue is that you focus only on numbers. Republicans held the majority of the Senate on other occasions, but it didn't do much good because so many of them were RINOs when push came to shove. The considerable number of people who want the spending brought under some kind of rational control are radically under-represented, even though the issue of spending has been an issue for decades, going back at least to Reagan. And it never gets any traction.
I think you don't like the Tea Party because it seems too 'populist' for your tastes. But experts have brought us to where we are now, and based on what they've shown us, why would any of us have confidence in their judgements? Frankly, I think that the 'experts' think that national debt never needs to be repaid! Krugman for one. How else could America's finances take the path they have taken since the 1960ies?
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Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:45 am Post subject:
What would Lugar do to help with the fiscal crisis? Come on, now. He was defeated when he was going for his 7th term!!! That would have been 49 years in the Senate, and you can't run until you are 30 years old!
I think I could answer that question by simply saying:
"A lot more then Joe Donnelly will"
The Tea Party elected a Democrat. We can dance circles around it all we want but the grim reality is that the only reason we have a Democrat in Indiana is because Lugar was viewed by a select few as not conservative enough.
You can thumb your nose at Lugar and his politics as much as you want the reality is simply that he voted along with the GOP more often then he didn't and I can assure you he would have voted with the GOP in this sitting a lot more then Donnelly will.
My biggest issue is that you focus only on numbers. Republicans held the majority of the Senate on other occasions, but it didn't do much good because so many of them were RINOs when push came to shove.
Because numbers are all that matter when it comes to politics.
If we want to have a debate on political principals I am sure you and I would be on the same page on a vast majority of issues, however over the course of my lifetime I have become jaded enough to believe that I will never get 100% of what I want 100% of the time.
Principal is nothing more the unimplementable conversation when you have no power or means to do anything with or about it, and I would sooner get most of what I want rather then none of what I want.
The Tea Party is allowed to be as principled as they want because they have no real power, they are basically the NDP in our current sitting of the Commons.
The real test of true Principals is what happens when you have the means to implement them, and based on the folks the Tea Party have nominated I am not sure they are in that much of a rush to be in that position.
All this talk about "RINOs" is fascinating however I consider it utterly self destructive to be culling the Lugars and Snowes of the Senate because you would rather have some left plunging Democrat sit in their seats rather then them because they only agree with 75% of the doctrine?
The GOP majority in the House and Senate under the majority of Clinton's administration led to one of the most prosperous times in US history, Gingrich shut down government twice in an effort to push back on Clinton and found a very effective means of balancing the budget.
Trent Lott had the same "misfit" Senators in his caucus as the GOP had very recently (Snowe, Lugar, etc) that the Tea Party consider RINOs and he run a very tight ship.
A tweet from Major Garrett
I am reliably informed Sen Susan Collins, R-Maine, will soon announce backing Chuck Hage[l]. DWH and Hagel backers believe they have 60 votes.
Remember, to date, not a single Senate Democrat has said he/she will oppose Hagel. That’s 55 votes in the bank. Thad Cochran is 56 and Collins would be 57. Murkowski’s a safe bet in situations like this to err on the side of bipartisanship, so that’s 58. All O needs is two more to bust the filibuster and he’s got a variety of centrist Republicans who can give it to him — Coats, Chambliss, Corker, Heller, Kirk, and so forth. Even the hardline anti-Hagel crew is sounding more fatalistic about his nomination. Two days ago, Lindsey Graham threatened to hold up the confirmation vote until he gets more info on Benghazi from the White House. Two days later, he’s saying things like this:
A tweet from Chad Pergram:
Graham on Hagel: I'm not inclined to filibuster anyone forever ...
The hope last week was that by delaying the vote, the GOP might force Obama or Carl Levin or Hagel himself to reflect on the fact that a guy who can’t state the White House’s Iran policy without help, after weeks of preparation, might be out of his depth leading the world’s greatest military. No dice: Hagel’s brother claimed yesterday he’s more resolved than ever to stick with this while a White House spokesman said, “We are absolutely committed to the Hagel nomination.” This guy’s not going to be shamed into quitting; if he had any shame to start with, he wouldn’t have lied his ass off at the hearing about his true feelings on the “Jewish lobby” in hopes of getting confirmed. And lest you doubt that the Democrats mean business in pushing him through, here’s the latest from Reid:
A tweet from Alexis Levinson
Reid says he will not honor any holds placed on Hagel's nomination
Why shouldn't the Tea Party primary Susan Collins, Thad Cochran, Lisa Murkowski (Frank's daughter), Dan Coats, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker, Dean Heller, Mark Kirk and any others that routinely break party discipline?
Good question. I missed your response, a week ago. Sorry, Cosmo, but I can't give you a very specific answer.
While the case I presented illustrates the point, there is the feeling that the President ought to be able to select his own cabinet. The Republicans are using the nomination process to break through the blackout to find out how the administration reacted to the Benghazi incident. So it isn't a purest of illustrations of my case against the RINOs.
I think the Tea Party has to pick off the worst offenders, particularly if they are vulnerable. I am not a big fan of party discipline, certainly not on all cases, either, so you kind of have me here. But I think it is justified when spending is the issue.
Moving on ... another aspect of the developing split in the Republicans. This is from Newt Gingrich.
Why Rove and Stevens are plain wrong
By: Newt Gingrich
2/20/2013 06:05 AM
I am writing this newsletter in a very direct, no baloney, effort to get across how much trouble we Republicans are in and how real the internal party fight is going to be.
I strongly support RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ effort to think through the lessons of 2012 and develop a better path for the Republican Party.
However there are going to be some very powerful opponents to any serious rethinking of Republican doctrines and strategies.
It is appalling how little some Republican consultants have learned from the 2012 defeat.
It is even more disturbing how arrogant their plans for the future are.
Of course these consultants have made an amazing amount of money asserting an expertise they clearly don’t have.
They have existed in a system in which the candidate was supposed to focus on raising money and the smart consultant would design the strategy, spend the money and do the thinking.
This is a terrible system.
Republicans need to drop the consultant-centric model and go back to a system in which candidates have to think and consultants are adviser and implementers but understand that the elected official is the one who has to represent the voters and make the key decisions.
I feel compelled to write this because of Karl Rove’s recent assertions and my very unsettling round table with Stuart Stevens on ABC’s This Week this past Sunday.
I am unalterably opposed to a bunch of billionaires financing a boss to pick candidates in 50 states. This is the opposite of the Republican tradition of freedom and grassroots small town conservatism.
No one person is smart enough nor do they have the moral right to buy nominations across the country.
That is the system of Tammany Hall and the Chicago machine. It should be repugnant to every conservative and every Republican.
There is a second practical thing wrong with Rove’s proposal.
He was simply wrong last year. He was wrong about the Presidential race (watch a video of his blow up on Fox election night about Fox News calling Ohio for President Obama). He was also wrong about Senate races.
While Rove would like to argue his “national nomination machine” will protect Republicans from candidates like those who failed in Missouri and Indiana, that isn’t the bigger story.
Republicans lost winnable senate races in Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. So in seven of the nine losing races, the Rove model has no candidate-based explanation for failure. Our problems are deeper and more complex than candidates.
Handing millions to Washington based consultants to destroy the candidates they dislike and nominate the candidates they do like is an invitation to cronyism, favoritism and corruption.
Stuart Stevens represents a very different problem. Based on our time together on This Week on ABC last Sunday, it seems he is indifferent to the facts and has no sense of responsibility for a presidential campaign that he dominated.
Jonathan Karl did a great job drawing out some amazing opinions.
On the disastrous Romney collapse among Latino voters (it was worse, by the way, with Asian Americans), Stuart responded as though the campaign were irrelevant. Here’s the transcript:
“STEVENS: Let me say something, Republican Party had a problem with Hispanic voters before this primary. I don’t think it got better during the primary certainly. And I think that –
“KARL: I mean, it got worse.
“STEVENS: That’s regrettable. But if you look at the numbers, it didn’t get significantly worse.”
That analysis is simply false.
The Romney campaign decision to savage first Governor Perry and then me on immigration destroyed any chance to build a Latino-Asian appeal.
The Romney formula of self-deportation (which must have seemed clever when invented) led to a collapse of acceptability.
The most powerful Obama ad in Spanish language media was Romney talking about self deportation.
The fact that Stevens can’t acknowledge any of this tells you how hard it will be for some in the consultant class to learn anything about winning in the 21st century.
Stevens did underscore the Republican challenge in attracting Latinos when he said:
“The greatest appeal that the Obama campaign had for Hispanic voters turned out to be ObamaCare. And they ran a tremendous amount of their advertising appealing to Hispanic voters. It was the only place in their advertising where they talked about ObamaCare, was into…the Hispanic community, because an extraordinary percentage of Hispanic voters are uninsured. And that was smart politics. They did it well. The party was also known as the party that was against ObamaCare and that hurt us. There’s not one solution here for the problems that Republicans have with Hispanic voters “
His observation is correct but he fails to draw the right conclusion.
Latinos worry about getting health insurance and health care. A Republican candidate who had a better health idea could have had great appeal. A Republican candidate who was merely anti-Obamacare (and therefore seen as anti-healthcare) would lose that contest. But wasn’t it Stevens’ job as chief consultant to design that before the campaign, not to explain its failure afterwards?
The depth of Republican obsolescence on communications technology was highlighted in this comment:
“STEVENS: Really made — if I had tweeted in this campaign this whole discussion we’ve been having about the second amendment would probably be replaced one about the first amendment and whether it should apply to tweeting.”
Cute but insulting. Republicans will not understand why we are losing younger Americans so badly until we realize how many of our consultants don’t have a clue and don’t intend to change.
Finally, Stevens said something profound but I don’t think he understood how profound it was:
“Listen, I don’t think — it would be a great mistake if we felt that technology in itself is going to save the Republican Party. Technology is something to a large degree you can go out and purchase and if we think there’s an off the shelf solution that you can go out and purchase for the Republican Party it’s wrong.
“You know, we’ve had a lot of chance now since the campaign to spend time with the Obama folks and sometimes they had better technology, some cases we have better technology. We don’t have 140 character problem in the Republican Party. We have a larger problem that we have to look at and be patient about it. And trying to think that there’s one solution like this, I just don’t think…”
I went on to agree with him but I don’t think he understood my agreement. In effect I was repudiating the entire structure, budget and culture of the campaign he dominated:
“GINGRICH: I think the way Stuart just said it is exactly right. The technology problem is a culture problem. I mean the Democrats had 54 data analysts and were hiring Ph.Ds in advanced math because they were using the most advanced decision processes in the country. They were bringing in behavioral scientists. They were trying to figure out how you talk to 311 million people and do so in a way that you can survive 8 percent unemployment and get re-elected and it worked.
“Now, I think it’s actually — he’s right in a sense it’s a cultural problem. None of our consultants would have imagined hiring 54 people in the decision area, none of them would have imagined having 24 people [who] did nothing full time except e-mails and then blind tested the best e-mails to see which ones worked. I mean, this — they are a Super Bowl team that we ought to respect deeply. And we are currently a midlevel college team floundering around and I agree. It’s not just — you can’t just go out and buy this, this is a fundamental rethinking of how you relate to the American people.”
As Reagan biographer Craig Shirley told me, “Commercial radio was a new technology in the early 1930′s and Reagan adapted to it. Talking movies were a new technology in the late 30′s and Reagan adapted to it. Network television was a new technology in the early 1950′s and Reagan adapted to it. If Reagan were alive today, he’d be tweeting.”
Our “Lessons to be Learned” project at Gingrich Productions will begin releasing reports on the scale of change we need in the next few weeks.
We will continue to report throughout the spring and summer.
By this fall we will have online courses on 21st century self government and politics.
The debate over Rove-Stevens versus the new 21st century model may be the most important intra-Republican debate since the emergence of Reagan and Kemp to challenge the old order in the 1970s.
In summary, the Republicans lost because the Democrats were technologically superior ... and they probably jimmied the system in the battleground states. The Tea Party may have cost them in some states, but it brought in new blood in others, in some case, people who are emerging stars in the Senate. (Incidentally, Karl Rove himself says that Akins was not the Tea Party choice. They were split between two other candidates.)
But what cost them an election they ought to have won was ... a stogy old elite who were not as sharp as they thought they were.
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Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:09 am Post subject:
I am not sure if I agree with Newt.
The funny thing with conventional GOPers and Tea Pary-ers is that you tend to warp reality into a tale that you hope repeated enough times will become reality and I cannot stress enough that both sides are equally guilty.
This concept that the Tea Party is a wondrous grassroots organization that came from nothing and demanded their seat at the GOP table is interesting and perhaps was the case, but is now largely false.
The Tea Party's supports have spent millions upon millions during the nomination process to flood the primary with delegates to get their candidate. If you look at the total amount of people who have participated in recent primaries where the Tea Party nominated someone utterly unelectable by the general population the numbers in the primary were staggering compared to prior years.
The amount of money the Tea Party has available to its candidates through various PAC's and Super PAC's is pretty darn staggering.
Newt is painting this as a battle between elitist GOP consultants/special interests/lobbyists, VS. a grassroots organization when the reality is its simply consultants/special interests/lobbyists Vs. consultants/special interests/lobbyists
If Roves wants to fight that battle on behalf of one side, by all means.
However, why isn't their an equal amount of outrage thrown at the Tea Party Super PAC that has been targeting Rove?
Yes, but can you find any other part of organized political opinion that even recognizes that the debt is spiraling out of control, and it threatens the future generations of Americans, courts a financial crisis of some kind, and will squeeze the social security, medicare, and Obamacare programs into penury?
You like numbers, Cosmo, so you know what I say is true.
You also know that Newt's charge about the mediocre (at best) performance of the establishment team, backing the establishment candidate, lost an election they should have won in a walk. At least I think you know that.
Mitt Romney actually got fewer votes than John McCain. In fact, if he'd gotten as many votes as McCain, he would have won! That's how bad the campaign was.
The sophisticates who ran that campaign couldn't successfully keep their issues in the media focus. They let phony issues like birth control -- birth control, for Christ's sake!!! -- occupy the front pages, and couldn't project the economic failures of the Obama administration (which are legion) as issues, during a quarter which (you can bet) was juiced, but whose growth was still in negative territory.
There's another part of this that you should think about seriously -- what happens if Karl Rove wins, and the Tea Party is crushed?
You hear this babble about the two parties being mere wings of one larger party, the party of patronage and cronyism. What people are sick of is the endless spending, in bad times and good, and they wonder to what good purpose. They call them the Demlicans and the Republicrats ... people are beseeched to see beyond the 'two-party paradigm' already. It's not just a fringe element, groups like the Libertarians put that out, and others at the other end of the spectrum believe it as well.
You will see third parties springing up, as well as more violence, as things continue to get worse, from a debt point of view. The results will likely be catastrophic. The middle class is being destroyed, and none of the perps are going to jail. The dream is that 'fracking' can re-industrialize America ... but the America of the 1950ies -- or the 60ies, 70ies, and 80ies isn't coming back. Not to the tax regime they will face, the labour costs they left the US to avoid. Not with the ever-tightening regulatory environment.
Does Karl Rove and the Republican establishment really think that can whistle past this graveyard with a sunny smile, and all will return to some kind of past normal?
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Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:32 am Post subject:
I will take those points in order;
Regarding the 2012 Campaign.
1) I think the Romney situation is an interesting one for a few reasons, its clear that the heavy hitters in the GOP thought it was going to be an uphill climb, which is why Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, and any other GOPer or for that matter Tea Paryer opted against running;
2) A lot of Conservatives took the same stance you did, that the polls were wrong and America couldn't possibility vote Obama and I think both the traditional GOP base and Tea Party base bought into it. In August on these very forums I was pleading for both sides of the GOP spectrum to stop with rhetoric and start with policy and platform otherwise it was over.
3) The campaign from all Conservative sides was basically a Seinfeld election, it was about nothing. The Tea Party and GOP spend all their time on TV when the GOP primary was the only news story and wasted precious time yammering on about Obama's citizenship, his faith, and his Kenyan Uncle.
The problem is with all great campaigns I can think back on them and pull out one simple one sentence explanation that summarized it, Romney wasn't entirely a terrible candidate he was simply had no platform which allowed noise created by folks like Atkin and Murdoch to drown out not only him, but cost folks like Tommy Thompson a seat he should have cakedwalked to.
Where I disagree with Newt is that Romney's lack of appeal is solely "the old guards" fault. I think the failure to define him is certainly their fault, however when he was surging and the GOP looked like they would take five Senate Seats the noise from the background simply crushed any momentum and took the balance of the party down with him.
The Romney campaign is like all failed campaigns;
Everyone is proud to be associated with it when its going well, and everyone points fingers and distances themselves from it when its over and lost.
This is no different;
Last edited by cosmostein on Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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