Thursday, September 23, 2021
HomePatriot DispatchesSo you want to move your state party to the right?

So you want to move your state party to the right?

Here’s how you do it.

But first, some background. If you spend any time at all around conservative blogs or Tea Party folk you will get an eye/ear full about “RINOs” – Republicans In Name Only. People who run as Republicans and vote against conservative interests a good portion of the time. Some names on the national level that you will probably recognize will give you a good idea of the folks we’re talking about.

  • John McCain (Immigration)
  • Dick Lugar (Virtually Everything)
  • Orrin Hatch (see Lugar)


The important thing to realize about these folks is that they vote fairly conservatively just before their next election and then make up for it. They are also typically long time incumbents and have huge war chests and they typically will not have much in the way of Democratic competition in their general elections so they can and will (and have) spend everything they need to in order to win their primary. See John McCain’s primary against JD Hayworth last year. The really bad part of that story is that Hayworth couldn’t win an election in Arizona if his life depended on it and still, McCain spent $20MM in the primary just to make the point. And he beat JD by 20+. He spent less than a million in the general and won it handily against the no-name Democrat who got his 15 minutes of fame and will never be heard from again.

Beating an incumbent is no easy task. They have fantastic name recognition, they typically have good local offices who make sure that they take good care of constituents and they bring home the bacon. It’s very difficult to make “them” the issue, especially when “they” usually will reap good press (and their primary opponent will reap no press) and “they” will have the solid support of the State Party Organization and they have incredibly deep pockets. The only incumbents – or insiders who might as well be incumbents (see Mike Castle) – who lose are those who run campaigns based on noblesse-oblige or their opinion that they have an entitlement to the seat. See Castle, Murkowski and Martha Coakley for examples. In order to win, or even make a good run, you need a credible candidate, money, organization, money, organization, money and organization. In the last cycle we had some candidates show up late against Republican opponents who were distasteful to conservatives (Castle is the poster boy) and got big bucks from Tea Party and various PACs, mainly Sarah Palin, and they won only to make complete fools of themselves in the general and lose seat that should have been slam dunks for the good guys. But hey, they don’t call us The Stupid Party for nothing.

And now we, finally, come to the point of the article. The Republic, of Columbus, Indiana, highlights what’s happening in Montgomery, Alabama with the Republican Party. This is a great example of how to elect conservatives and build a solid conservative bench.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Former Gov. Bob Riley and two legislative leaders who raised millions to help Republicans take control of the Legislature have now set a goal to collect money to defeat candidates who wear the GOP label but are Democrats in disguise.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, said he, Riley and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, are working together to form Alabama 2014, which will focus on that year’s legislative elections.

Marsh said Thursday that Riley’s daughter, Birmingham attorney Minda Riley Campbell, is also involved, and they hope to raise $2 million to $3 million “to make sure true Republicans are elected in the primary.”

You really should read the whole article, it’s an object lesson is doing things right.

Again, the bottom line is really pretty simple. No differential equations required.

  • High level, high visibility Republican leaders join together to identify and elect conservatives.
  • They put together an organization to accomplish specific electoral objectives.
  • They will target specific legislators.
  • They are raising money to make credible opponents real threats to incumbents.

We need a whole lot more of this kind of organizing and a whole lot less focus on events like Christine O’Donnell, Sharon Angle and Joe Miller. Another excellent example of this kind of organization and thinking is happening in Indiana where State Treasurer Richard Mourdock is going to run against Dick Lugar in the ’12 primary. He’s got great statewide name recognition, money and the ability to raise more and he’s got most of the State Republican Party behind him.

In order to maximize your individual influence in your state, actually to have any influence at all, you need to be involved. The best way to get involved is to become a Precinct Committeeman. That puts you in a position to actually have a say in Republican policies and politics at the local, state and even the national level. All party leaders, all of them, are elected by PCs. The best way to start the process is to check out The Precinct Project.

Who knows, if we see more of this, we might even be able to put The Stupid Party label behind us.

 

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Michael Becker
Michael Becker is a long time activist and a businessman. He's been involved in the pro-life movement since 1976 and has been counseling addicts and ministering to prison inmates since 1980. Becker is a Curmudgeon. He has decades of experience as an operations executive in turnaround situations and in mortgage banking. He blogs regularly at The Right Curmudgeon, The Minority Report, Wizbang, Unified Patriots and Joe for America. He lives in Phoenix and is almost always armed.

27 COMMENTS

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27 COMMENTS

    • Please note texas, I didn’t say that Lugar was done. My point is simple, if you’re going to beat a long time incumbent, you’ve got to have a credible candidate, organization and money. That by no means assures victory, it just gives you a fighting chance. And it’s good to be here.

      • Woo hoo!!!!!
        I’m in.

        Sorry becker….but you were the first name I recognized so I jump on you.
        It’s not that I like you or anything.
        I’m just piggybackin’ my way on my first comment in.
        Sorry.
        I used you.

      • I agree Becker if you mean by organization both state GOP and Tea Party support. When you compare the 2010 US Senate contests in Utah and Alaska the big difference for me is that Mike Lee in Utah had both the state GOP and Tea Party support, but Joe Miller had Tea Party support only in Alaska.

        • By organization, I most mean state GOP. The key to making sure that the state GOP is doing the “right stuff” is for Conservatives to get involved. Just ask Cold Warrior. :-).

          With respect to Utah, I personally view them as a unique entity. They are, I’m pretty sure, the only state where the “primary” can take place inside the state convention and that’s why Bennett got beat. The wins, outside of UT, so far have mostly been because an outstanding candidate – Rubio & Toomey for example – took the bull by the horns and waged one hell of a fight. In high profile races – AK, DE, NV – the Tea Party put up money and nothing else. As it happened, the TP picked candidates were running against candidates who pretty much ran “entitlement” campaigns that pissed off voters and a big chunk of money was enough to push an alternative over the line. And on the other side of the line, the “candidate” found him/her self with no organization, no campaign professionals, and not enough money to win in the general.

          • I thought state GOP is what you meant mostly. For examples of outstanding candidates you have got to include Ron Johnson of WI and John Boozman of AR. They defeated incumbent Ds in states that had D Governors. Johnson did have Tea Party support, and I do not know if Boozman had them or not. Even Clinton support was not a factor in AR.

  1. Thanks Becker, this is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart.

    I’d like to add that in order to move your state farther to the right, we have to run candidates in all races. Even in areas where they have NO chance of winning. If these candidates can get a few more Republican votes in the heavily blue areas, they can move the needle on state wide races. In inner city areas where the D gets 90% of the vote, if we can move our share from 10% to 15% instead, we can turn some of these blue states red.

    Tip O’Neil wrote a book on politics that explained how to take over districts that have a majority vote of the opposition party. Go into those districts, find a credible candidate who is popular or at least well known, then convince them to run as your party’s candidate and support them. You won’t win all of these races in the first year, but you’ll win a couple. And you’ll force the Dems to spend money defending “safe” seats instead of funneling money into races that we should win.

    • This strategy, as you know, Brian, was used successfully in our home state of IL. Excellent candidates were run against entrenched socialists in the Chicago area. Joel Pollack, who did not unseat Schakowsky, ran a first-ever try for office, generating a lot of PR which forced Schakowsky to spend money defending herself, that she had always spent on other communists in the past.

      We elected 5 republicans to the House, 4 of which were turnovers.

      You can not win them all, but you can not win anything if you don’t try. Running a credible campaign against impossible odds, like Rev. Isaac Hayes vs. Jessie Jackson, Jr. puts the Republican / Conservative brand in places where it rarely is seen

      • Amen to this comment, becker.

        I’m in the process of writing a post on my involvement in the GOP in my state but just this last week I learned at the CD central committee meeting I was attending that there was an opening of our state candidate search committee (it finds ‘credible’ candidates to run for state-wide offices such as US Senator, governor, etc), No one else volunteered…so I did.

        There are 2 people from each CD plus state party officers so that means that I am now one of 21 people in the entire state who will be conducting searches for candidates for statewide office.

        And I’m a firm believer in that good conservative candidates result in GOP gains (well, MD and MS being notable exceptions 🙂

  2. I agree with everything except ODonnell of course, to me Mike Castle being denied entry to the Senate was well worth every dollar I sent. I may not always get my man or woman but every once in a while I still get left with a smile on my face.

    • You are 150% wrong on O’Donnell. Last year was her third statewide run for national office. She knew the principles in the state Republican Party well because in ’08 she was the endorsed candidate for US Senator, endorsed by the same party mechanism that wouldn’t touch her in ’10. If she had an IQ that bumped two digits, she would have known that she had an uphill battle if she was able to beat Castle and she would have had a plan in place to win the party organization. That was HER responsibility not theirs. So what did she do, she won and came out casting stones at people she needed to win. Oh, and with respect to her primary “win”, the ONLY reason she won was because Castle ran an “entitlement campaign” that turned off voters. It was precisely the same reason Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley. The difference between Brown and CO’D (other than about 120 IQ points) is that Brown knew what he was up against and built bridges everywhere he could. And he’ll get reelected next year because he is a capable professional, two things that have never been said about CO’D. She was easily the most incompetent candidate we’ve probably ever had. In addition to having run twice before and learned exactly nothing, her ability to build a competent staff is zero. Hopefully we – as in the conservative side of the party – will learn from the ChristineFiasco. She not only cost us a US Senate Seat – and Castle is no prize, but he’d vote with us maybe 30% of the time instead of 0% – she destroyed the entire party line in Delaware. We also lost the House seat that we should have won and all but one statewide offices. It was a wipeout in just the opposite terms that the National scene was.

      Bottom line, ever dollar given to CO’D was thrown down a rathole. Frankly, the money would have done less damage had it been given to the Democrats. With any luck, we’ll never see or hear from the fool again. Ever.

      • you know, Becker, this comment of yours exemplifies the problem with the whole of the GOP you suggest you can help us figure out how to take over; by being pragmatic and calculating and willing to equivocate.

        That air of holier than thou is pungent in you…and I thought better of you in years past.

        Sure, why NOT elect an avowed moderate that will vote against the Caucus 70% of the time. At least you won’t seat someone you deem your collective selves “better than” and too good to share the same elevator with… (whom hundreds of thousands of Delawareans WANTED in office)…just because THEY support her doesn’t mean the “establishment elite” should. After all, you and your buds inside the Party apparatus always HAVE known better what is best for “we, the People” than the people themselves. Isn’t that the calculus that helped you and your buds get where you are today? And how, after your coup, will you rationalize the opinions you espouse in this piece with how you’ll rule the GOP once you take it over? To me, it’s the same pig with a different shade of lipstick…

        Personally, I like my pig au naturale… at least I know what I’m getting at face value.

        Instead of tearing down candidates that clear primaries, howzabout you and that Party apparatus of yours figure out a way to respond to the will of the electorate…might get a few more Party-wide donations from we rubes out here that can’t think without your guidance, and that of the Party you mean to take over so your new party can be the same as our old party.

        Rather than helping us resent you further by making SURE our candidates lose…because they don’t live up to standards the GOP and its leadership can’t even meet themselves, why don’t you guys focus on electing the candidates the constituents select, and getting leadership snobbishness, and over-inflated egos the heck out of our way.

        We’re not (well, I’m certainly not) planning on helping you take over the GOP if you’re going to be exactly the same self-absorbed, holier than thou, high and mighty trainwreck as the one we’re being made to suffer with now.

        • Care to address any of the facts on the ground regarding O’Donnell, because this comment addresses exactly none of the points I brought out about her.

          As far as me being part of the Republican establishment, that’s about as far from the truth as it gets and you know better.

          Look, you can whine all you want about Castle, I agree – and have forever – that the guy is pathetic. But that doesn’t change the facts about the election in DE. One: Castle lost because of his entitlement attitude. Two: O’Donnell showed herself to be a complete incompetent fool in the general. She couldn’t campaign, she couldn’t organize a campaign and she couldn’t hire qualified help. When all was said and done, she not only cost us a Senate seat, she cost us a sweep in the state, top to bottom.

          I’m not by any means supporting Castle. I am saying that we need organization at the state and local level so we don’t have another O’Donnell experience.

          If you’re happy with O’Donnell and the results she brought in DE, you need to enjoy being in the minority because that’s where Republicans will find themselves forever.

          • I find myself agreeing, and disagreeing, with your thoughts here, beck.

            I agree that O’Donnell, Angle and Miller were less than stellar candidates (to be kind) and that therefore we lost some opportunities there. And I agree that the way it appears that Indiana and Alabama are addressing those issues is dead-on. And I agree that the *only* way we’re going to take care of those issues is to get more grass-roots conservatives involved at the precinct level so that we can toss out the ‘old guard’.

            My quibble is that while I am willing to place some of the blame for the defeats of these 3 on the candidates themselves, I will *not* absolve the Party elites in those states for basically throwing them under the bus. I am sick to death (as I’m fairly certain you are as well) of the Party Elites telling the grassroots to suck it up and vote for *their* candidate no matter how flawed he might be. But when one of *our* flawed candidates wins the primary, they head for the hills, look down their noses, withhold support, and then sanctimoniously say “see…told you they couldn’t win”

            I’m not sure that the ‘three’ would’ve won even with the full-throated support of the Party. But we’ll never know because once again, they bailed on someone they didn’t approve of. And, in all honesty, looking at the trajectory Castle’s numbers were in vs Coons, I’m not sure he would’ve won anyway and I’m grateful to O’Donnell for having exposed, even in her incompetent way, the perfidy and elitism of the DE GOP.

            Which brings us full circle to what I think is the point of your piece – if the DE GOP (for example) has a huge influx of conservative PC’s into it, then they *become* the DE GOP, can select a more viable candidate next time, and give him/her the Party’s 100% support.

            And on that point, I whole-heartedly agree.

          • eburke, I’m not absolving anybody of anything. The Party apparatus in Delaware needs to be replaced, and as of about a month ago there are Precinct Committemen actively working on replacing the leadership.

            Should the leadership have backed the respective candidates? Sure. Certainly in DE it wouldn’t have made any difference.

            Once again, my point is not to absolve the various state leadership groups of anything. It’s to press the idea that when we have viable, credible candidates we have an excellent shot at winning. We also don’t have much in the way of organization to develop those candidates either inside the formal GOP structure of outside it. The shining example, which I don’t think is applicable to other states, is Utah.

            In the high profile races we won, it wasn’t because an organization did anything, it was because there was a credible candidate already in place and I’ve sited names and at least one commenter added more. I’m interested in moving the process so that it supports the interests of conservatives at the state and local level and gives us credible people to vote for. Where we have to rely on people just popping up we get CO’D, Angle (who I’ll cut a break because it was her first campaign), and idiots like JD Hayworth.

            Bottom line, it’s about process not people but the only examples we have are the people.

  3. The question will endure til the end of time as to which is better, the punt R or a D with in a Marx-labeled business suit. Actually, John McCain provided one answer, for had he won we not have the House back, there would be no Tea Party, and we would in all likelihood still have McCaincare, card check, immigration. I voted for McCain over my better instincts, but with two years hindsight am sort of glad he didn’t win. America has found it voice.

    I agree O’Donnell was a less than good candidate, but she was the Republicans of Delaware’s candidate, their choice. She didn’t steal it, and the complaints I heard then by some pundit-elitists were those of ten-your olds who, when not liking an outcome, just held their breath and acted like it had not happened at all. A teat fit, which befit both their age and sparse experience. You and I come from better stock, Becker, and neither of us had a vote to cast in DE. The party elites of Delaware, for reasons that stretch the definition of pragmatism into the realms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, chose to sign up with the Communist. Coons is a communist, a real live communist, and we’re sitting here scolding a less-than-good candidate that ran off the bulk of her party apparatus simply by not being their first choice. What part of third grade do we not understand here? The only thing worse than a ruling class is a ruling class dominated by rank adolescence.

    I totally agree with your assessment about taking over the party from withing thru the Precinct Project, MB, but even if successful 100%, we will still need lone, independent candidates, some as kooky as Lahr Daley and Lyndon Larouche, to challenge the sense of superiority and exclusivity that even a 100% conservative party structure will one day display…for sometimes it will be them who remind voters that the other side has a card carrying Marxist named Chris Coons.

    In my view, why Christine O’Donnell lost was because the Delaware Republican Party threw a childish teat fit and chose (preferred) its vanities and prerogatives over a communist. A communist, not a not a moonbeam liberal, but a communist, proving more than anything else they had totally lost their way as Americans.

    We will have no truck with that kind of person here for in the end, they always tip their hand by telling everyone else how stupid they are…and one rule we have here is as fixed as the stars in the heaven; we will not allow that kind to run off voters.

    The voters often vote wrong, but they are never stupid, for the day I say they are is the say I am saying more about myself than I am them.

    • Please note texas, I didn’t say that Lugar was done. My point is simple, if you’re going to beat a long time incumbent, you’ve got to have a credible candidate, organization and money. That by no means assures victory, it just gives you a fighting chance. And it’s good to be here.

      • Woo hoo!!!!!
        I’m in.

        Sorry becker….but you were the first name I recognized so I jump on you.
        It’s not that I like you or anything.
        I’m just piggybackin’ my way on my first comment in.
        Sorry.
        I used you.

      • I agree Becker if you mean by organization both state GOP and Tea Party support. When you compare the 2010 US Senate contests in Utah and Alaska the big difference for me is that Mike Lee in Utah had both the state GOP and Tea Party support, but Joe Miller had Tea Party support only in Alaska.

        • By organization, I most mean state GOP. The key to making sure that the state GOP is doing the “right stuff” is for Conservatives to get involved. Just ask Cold Warrior. :-).

          With respect to Utah, I personally view them as a unique entity. They are, I’m pretty sure, the only state where the “primary” can take place inside the state convention and that’s why Bennett got beat. The wins, outside of UT, so far have mostly been because an outstanding candidate – Rubio & Toomey for example – took the bull by the horns and waged one hell of a fight. In high profile races – AK, DE, NV – the Tea Party put up money and nothing else. As it happened, the TP picked candidates were running against candidates who pretty much ran “entitlement” campaigns that pissed off voters and a big chunk of money was enough to push an alternative over the line. And on the other side of the line, the “candidate” found him/her self with no organization, no campaign professionals, and not enough money to win in the general.

          • I thought state GOP is what you meant mostly. For examples of outstanding candidates you have got to include Ron Johnson of WI and John Boozman of AR. They defeated incumbent Ds in states that had D Governors. Johnson did have Tea Party support, and I do not know if Boozman had them or not. Even Clinton support was not a factor in AR.

  1. Thanks Becker, this is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart.

    I’d like to add that in order to move your state farther to the right, we have to run candidates in all races. Even in areas where they have NO chance of winning. If these candidates can get a few more Republican votes in the heavily blue areas, they can move the needle on state wide races. In inner city areas where the D gets 90% of the vote, if we can move our share from 10% to 15% instead, we can turn some of these blue states red.

    Tip O’Neil wrote a book on politics that explained how to take over districts that have a majority vote of the opposition party. Go into those districts, find a credible candidate who is popular or at least well known, then convince them to run as your party’s candidate and support them. You won’t win all of these races in the first year, but you’ll win a couple. And you’ll force the Dems to spend money defending “safe” seats instead of funneling money into races that we should win.

    • This strategy, as you know, Brian, was used successfully in our home state of IL. Excellent candidates were run against entrenched socialists in the Chicago area. Joel Pollack, who did not unseat Schakowsky, ran a first-ever try for office, generating a lot of PR which forced Schakowsky to spend money defending herself, that she had always spent on other communists in the past.

      We elected 5 republicans to the House, 4 of which were turnovers.

      You can not win them all, but you can not win anything if you don’t try. Running a credible campaign against impossible odds, like Rev. Isaac Hayes vs. Jessie Jackson, Jr. puts the Republican / Conservative brand in places where it rarely is seen

      • Amen to this comment, becker.

        I’m in the process of writing a post on my involvement in the GOP in my state but just this last week I learned at the CD central committee meeting I was attending that there was an opening of our state candidate search committee (it finds ‘credible’ candidates to run for state-wide offices such as US Senator, governor, etc), No one else volunteered…so I did.

        There are 2 people from each CD plus state party officers so that means that I am now one of 21 people in the entire state who will be conducting searches for candidates for statewide office.

        And I’m a firm believer in that good conservative candidates result in GOP gains (well, MD and MS being notable exceptions 🙂

  2. I agree with everything except ODonnell of course, to me Mike Castle being denied entry to the Senate was well worth every dollar I sent. I may not always get my man or woman but every once in a while I still get left with a smile on my face.

    • You are 150% wrong on O’Donnell. Last year was her third statewide run for national office. She knew the principles in the state Republican Party well because in ’08 she was the endorsed candidate for US Senator, endorsed by the same party mechanism that wouldn’t touch her in ’10. If she had an IQ that bumped two digits, she would have known that she had an uphill battle if she was able to beat Castle and she would have had a plan in place to win the party organization. That was HER responsibility not theirs. So what did she do, she won and came out casting stones at people she needed to win. Oh, and with respect to her primary “win”, the ONLY reason she won was because Castle ran an “entitlement campaign” that turned off voters. It was precisely the same reason Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley. The difference between Brown and CO’D (other than about 120 IQ points) is that Brown knew what he was up against and built bridges everywhere he could. And he’ll get reelected next year because he is a capable professional, two things that have never been said about CO’D. She was easily the most incompetent candidate we’ve probably ever had. In addition to having run twice before and learned exactly nothing, her ability to build a competent staff is zero. Hopefully we – as in the conservative side of the party – will learn from the ChristineFiasco. She not only cost us a US Senate Seat – and Castle is no prize, but he’d vote with us maybe 30% of the time instead of 0% – she destroyed the entire party line in Delaware. We also lost the House seat that we should have won and all but one statewide offices. It was a wipeout in just the opposite terms that the National scene was.

      Bottom line, ever dollar given to CO’D was thrown down a rathole. Frankly, the money would have done less damage had it been given to the Democrats. With any luck, we’ll never see or hear from the fool again. Ever.

      • you know, Becker, this comment of yours exemplifies the problem with the whole of the GOP you suggest you can help us figure out how to take over; by being pragmatic and calculating and willing to equivocate.

        That air of holier than thou is pungent in you…and I thought better of you in years past.

        Sure, why NOT elect an avowed moderate that will vote against the Caucus 70% of the time. At least you won’t seat someone you deem your collective selves “better than” and too good to share the same elevator with… (whom hundreds of thousands of Delawareans WANTED in office)…just because THEY support her doesn’t mean the “establishment elite” should. After all, you and your buds inside the Party apparatus always HAVE known better what is best for “we, the People” than the people themselves. Isn’t that the calculus that helped you and your buds get where you are today? And how, after your coup, will you rationalize the opinions you espouse in this piece with how you’ll rule the GOP once you take it over? To me, it’s the same pig with a different shade of lipstick…

        Personally, I like my pig au naturale… at least I know what I’m getting at face value.

        Instead of tearing down candidates that clear primaries, howzabout you and that Party apparatus of yours figure out a way to respond to the will of the electorate…might get a few more Party-wide donations from we rubes out here that can’t think without your guidance, and that of the Party you mean to take over so your new party can be the same as our old party.

        Rather than helping us resent you further by making SURE our candidates lose…because they don’t live up to standards the GOP and its leadership can’t even meet themselves, why don’t you guys focus on electing the candidates the constituents select, and getting leadership snobbishness, and over-inflated egos the heck out of our way.

        We’re not (well, I’m certainly not) planning on helping you take over the GOP if you’re going to be exactly the same self-absorbed, holier than thou, high and mighty trainwreck as the one we’re being made to suffer with now.

        • Care to address any of the facts on the ground regarding O’Donnell, because this comment addresses exactly none of the points I brought out about her.

          As far as me being part of the Republican establishment, that’s about as far from the truth as it gets and you know better.

          Look, you can whine all you want about Castle, I agree – and have forever – that the guy is pathetic. But that doesn’t change the facts about the election in DE. One: Castle lost because of his entitlement attitude. Two: O’Donnell showed herself to be a complete incompetent fool in the general. She couldn’t campaign, she couldn’t organize a campaign and she couldn’t hire qualified help. When all was said and done, she not only cost us a Senate seat, she cost us a sweep in the state, top to bottom.

          I’m not by any means supporting Castle. I am saying that we need organization at the state and local level so we don’t have another O’Donnell experience.

          If you’re happy with O’Donnell and the results she brought in DE, you need to enjoy being in the minority because that’s where Republicans will find themselves forever.

          • I find myself agreeing, and disagreeing, with your thoughts here, beck.

            I agree that O’Donnell, Angle and Miller were less than stellar candidates (to be kind) and that therefore we lost some opportunities there. And I agree that the way it appears that Indiana and Alabama are addressing those issues is dead-on. And I agree that the *only* way we’re going to take care of those issues is to get more grass-roots conservatives involved at the precinct level so that we can toss out the ‘old guard’.

            My quibble is that while I am willing to place some of the blame for the defeats of these 3 on the candidates themselves, I will *not* absolve the Party elites in those states for basically throwing them under the bus. I am sick to death (as I’m fairly certain you are as well) of the Party Elites telling the grassroots to suck it up and vote for *their* candidate no matter how flawed he might be. But when one of *our* flawed candidates wins the primary, they head for the hills, look down their noses, withhold support, and then sanctimoniously say “see…told you they couldn’t win”

            I’m not sure that the ‘three’ would’ve won even with the full-throated support of the Party. But we’ll never know because once again, they bailed on someone they didn’t approve of. And, in all honesty, looking at the trajectory Castle’s numbers were in vs Coons, I’m not sure he would’ve won anyway and I’m grateful to O’Donnell for having exposed, even in her incompetent way, the perfidy and elitism of the DE GOP.

            Which brings us full circle to what I think is the point of your piece – if the DE GOP (for example) has a huge influx of conservative PC’s into it, then they *become* the DE GOP, can select a more viable candidate next time, and give him/her the Party’s 100% support.

            And on that point, I whole-heartedly agree.

          • eburke, I’m not absolving anybody of anything. The Party apparatus in Delaware needs to be replaced, and as of about a month ago there are Precinct Committemen actively working on replacing the leadership.

            Should the leadership have backed the respective candidates? Sure. Certainly in DE it wouldn’t have made any difference.

            Once again, my point is not to absolve the various state leadership groups of anything. It’s to press the idea that when we have viable, credible candidates we have an excellent shot at winning. We also don’t have much in the way of organization to develop those candidates either inside the formal GOP structure of outside it. The shining example, which I don’t think is applicable to other states, is Utah.

            In the high profile races we won, it wasn’t because an organization did anything, it was because there was a credible candidate already in place and I’ve sited names and at least one commenter added more. I’m interested in moving the process so that it supports the interests of conservatives at the state and local level and gives us credible people to vote for. Where we have to rely on people just popping up we get CO’D, Angle (who I’ll cut a break because it was her first campaign), and idiots like JD Hayworth.

            Bottom line, it’s about process not people but the only examples we have are the people.

  3. The question will endure til the end of time as to which is better, the punt R or a D with in a Marx-labeled business suit. Actually, John McCain provided one answer, for had he won we not have the House back, there would be no Tea Party, and we would in all likelihood still have McCaincare, card check, immigration. I voted for McCain over my better instincts, but with two years hindsight am sort of glad he didn’t win. America has found it voice.

    I agree O’Donnell was a less than good candidate, but she was the Republicans of Delaware’s candidate, their choice. She didn’t steal it, and the complaints I heard then by some pundit-elitists were those of ten-your olds who, when not liking an outcome, just held their breath and acted like it had not happened at all. A teat fit, which befit both their age and sparse experience. You and I come from better stock, Becker, and neither of us had a vote to cast in DE. The party elites of Delaware, for reasons that stretch the definition of pragmatism into the realms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, chose to sign up with the Communist. Coons is a communist, a real live communist, and we’re sitting here scolding a less-than-good candidate that ran off the bulk of her party apparatus simply by not being their first choice. What part of third grade do we not understand here? The only thing worse than a ruling class is a ruling class dominated by rank adolescence.

    I totally agree with your assessment about taking over the party from withing thru the Precinct Project, MB, but even if successful 100%, we will still need lone, independent candidates, some as kooky as Lahr Daley and Lyndon Larouche, to challenge the sense of superiority and exclusivity that even a 100% conservative party structure will one day display…for sometimes it will be them who remind voters that the other side has a card carrying Marxist named Chris Coons.

    In my view, why Christine O’Donnell lost was because the Delaware Republican Party threw a childish teat fit and chose (preferred) its vanities and prerogatives over a communist. A communist, not a not a moonbeam liberal, but a communist, proving more than anything else they had totally lost their way as Americans.

    We will have no truck with that kind of person here for in the end, they always tip their hand by telling everyone else how stupid they are…and one rule we have here is as fixed as the stars in the heaven; we will not allow that kind to run off voters.

    The voters often vote wrong, but they are never stupid, for the day I say they are is the say I am saying more about myself than I am them.

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