mindyfinn's blog

Personal Hypocrisy

I empathize with Internet politics enthusiasts on the Left who are frustrated by the Right’s rapid online ascendancy. That doesn’t justify an obsession with undermining the online-fueled strength of the Tea Party movement, as Micah Sifry, Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) and TechPresident.com co-founder, does in this post.

Sifry writes:

I have two theories: first, that even with the growth on the right of the past two years, the online progressive base is still bigger than the online conservative base, and second, that the Tea Party's actual base of support--while large and important--isn't anywhere nearly as big as advertised.

He acknowledges that there is more base enthusiasm for Republican candidates than Democrats this year, but takes pains to prove this is not translating online. His proof? Counter-examples to the chart in this recent IBDInvestor’s piece that shows Republican online properties drawing more interest than similar Democratic properties.    

Compete.com shows DailyKos trouncing HotAir by a wide margin almost all year, except for the month of May (perhaps due to Rand Paul's breakthrough victory in Kentucky?. The same pattern holds when you look at other top right-wing sites, like HotAir, Michelle Malkin, or PajamasMedia.com.

However, this only shows that the most popular liberal blog gets more traffic than several popular conservative blogs, not an overall picture of conservative blog readership. It says nothing about activism levels.

To debunk the strength of the Tea Party movement online, Sifry hones in on the claims of the Tea Party Patriots, one of several “Tea Party” named groups with an online community. This misses the point.

The Right’s strength online hinges on Tea Party activism, but it also includes excitement around the individual campaigns, and the efforts those campaigns are exerting to harness that enthusiasm. It also includes a media mix of enthusiasm from talk radio.

Rise of the Right

When an online movement helped Democrats take the House and Senate in 2006 and the White House in 2008, they had reason to be confident in their online organizing prowess. Many believed this would help secure their place in power for years, perhaps decades, to come.

Yet, just two years later, it’s Republican elected officials, not Democrats, who have institutionalized YouTube communications; Republican Senate candidates have four times the Facebook support of their Democratic counterparts; the conservative base, under the banner of the Tea Party, has used their blogs, Twitter accounts and email lists to mobilize and fundraise their way to victory over powerful establishment candidates. And President Barack Obama, the Web 2.0 community’s great hope for embracing transparency and changing government through online innovation has faltered.

As Patrick Ruffini, my partner at Engage, and I stated in this January 2010 piece, the Right has caught up online. I’d even argue now that the Right has surpassed the Left. This all depends on what and how you measure, but I suggest an equation that includes, not only blog readership or individual Ning groups, but elected official, issue organization, campaign and grassroots activity.

Regardless, the true measure of a movement’s impact hinges on the number of people influenced to mobilize on the ground and vote. By this metric, Tea Party success this year has left little to debate or interpret.  

Sifry, a friend, a liberal progressive, and someone I admire and respect, has focused in the past on showcasing Democratic and Republican advances online in tandem. Yet, this post reeks of sore loser-ism. He couches his post as a heroic attempt to set the media straight. Instead, with a sub-heading “Tea Party Poop,” it comes across as an attempt to belittle.

Enemy of My Enemy

Sifry and I often see eye-to-eye, and here too we agree:

  1. The media tends to muddle the relationship between online activity and offline momentum, often reporting the former as if it has caused, not resulted from, the latter. This occurred during the 2008 election and continues today;
  2. You can’t take the numbers -- Facebook likes, blog traffic and Ning membership -- at face value.

I also agree with a point he has made in the past about money-ed organizations playing a role in Tea Party mobilization efforts, although I remind that they also did in supporting candidate Obama. Yet, neither of these points detract from the calculable rise of the conservative movement since the election of President Obama, made possible so quickly through the digital revolution.

If you truly believe that the Internet democratizes the process, you should have a level of appreciation for what is happening. An open democracy is one whereby all interested comers -- regardless of age, race or income -- may impact the process. You shouldn’t laud the virtue of more rank-and-file participation on one hand, and disparage it on the other.

That is unless you confine personal democracy to your own ideology. In that case, it’s just personal hypocrisy.

Spontaneity is Overrated

The Demand Question Time petition -- now with more than 20,000 signatures -- has made it to the far reaches of President Obama's inner circle and GOP House leadership.  If you haven't signed yet, you should.

The responses to the petition indicate support from both parties on the merits, a more civil, open dialogue between our leaders in Washington. Let's talk, says President Obama.  Let’s talk, says Minority Whip Cantor. Let's talk, says Majority Leader Reid.

Yet, so far, since the appearance of President Obama at the House Republicans retreat on January 29, each party seems mostly to be talking amongst itself.

President Obama has embarked on a dialogue tour of sorts recently, stepping up his accessibility to the rank-and-file in his party.  In the three weeks since the retreat, Obama participated in a moderated CitizenTube interview with questions submitted on YouTube, conference call with DNC/Organizing for America members and made a rare appearance at the White House press briefing.

Since the 2008 election, Republicans have taken to YouTube as their conversation outlet -- 89 percent of congressional Republicans (compared to 74 percent of Democrats) have YouTube channels, according to a 2009 year-end report on CitizenTube. People are listening – the Republican channels draw more views with eight of the top 10 most-viewed and most-subscribed YouTube channels in Congress from the GOP.

As for regular question time, “The thing that made Friday interesting was the spontaneity," [President Obama's top advisor David] Axelrod told Politico. "If you slip into a kind of convention, then conventionality will overtake the freshness of that."

Boehner said about the retreat, “the president’s acknowledgment that he has read our policy proposals should stop every Democrat  … from repeating their discredited ‘party of no ideas’ talking point,” but as for Demand Question Time, “we’ll look at this proposal." Cantor meanwhile told NPR, “Absolutely,” we should do more of that.

This suggests that GOP leadership might consider a proposal that allows Republicans, who have little procedural power in Congress, to present ideas.

Last week, the President issued a challenge to Republicans to present ideas on health care at a "bi-partisan" health care summit. Republicans have ideas that they can’t get heard as the minority party in Congress. Does this summit meet the need for open, bi-partisan dialogue?

Not so fast. 

The White House has set the agenda with limits on how Republicans can approach the discussion. For example, off the table is the suggestion that the Democratic version of health care reform be scrapped for an incremental approach.  Senate GOP leadership and Boehner and Cantor are understandably skeptical about this summit as nothing more than an opportunity for the White House to strongarm leadership to pass their plan.

Today, they issued a call of their own, on the issue of their choosing, jobs.  This challenge targets the House Democratic leadership – who has yet to get in on the dialogue action – to a televised debate on how to address crippling unemployment rates.

So now we have arguments over how to argue and what to argue about. Two steps back it seems.

If there is hope for serious question time, spontaneous, scattershot events are not sufficient.  Without a commitment to a format, regular schedule and a fair set of terms, we are stuck with business as usual in Washington.  And business as usual right now is both uncivil and unpopular. 

Stop Gloating

Scott Brown’s victory is an enormous opportunity – for the Democrats.

That is if we repeat the mistakes of the past in interpreting a “change” election.

There is no doubt that President Obama and Democratic over-reaching on stimulus and health care – to no immediate effect – fueled the Brown momentum in Massachusetts.  They know that and after they get through finger-pointing and in-fighting, they will do some serious soul-searching in the wake of Brown’s election much like we did after November 2008.

Republicans meanwhile appear to be reacting to Brown’s win by puffing up our chests and assuming that we will win every place we play.

However, more than anything, voters in Massachusetts – as in states around the country – are fed up with government.  The have no faith in the current leadership of both parties for good reason.

Neil Newhouse, the pollster for the Brown campaign, posted a summary of the verbatims from Massachusetts voters during the last two weeks of the race.  “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore,” “Washington isn’t listening to us,” and “Don’t take my vote for granted.” 

I worked with Neil on a race in 2006, and these were nearly word-for-word the verbatims we were hearing then.  Voter dissatisfaction has nothing to do with party: the reason a plurality of independents voted for Obama in states like Virginia and Massachusetts, but voted to reject the status quo by voting for a Republican in November 2009 and yesterday.

Gauging the overall reaction to Scott Brown’s victory returns bold statements about a Republican sweep in 2010, and the expectation that new candidates will materialize to challenge entrenched Democrats across the country.  The theme “If Democrats Can Lose Massachusetts, They Can Win Anywhere” is taking off along with its sunnier twin, “If Republicans Can Win in Massachusetts, They Can Win Anywhere.

We can, and we will probably sail to victory in some races. Yet, in the same way that an over-confident, arrogant Martha Coakley saw the race slip from her hands, like Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary, it’s quite possible that several Republicans could suffer the same fate if we misinterpret the Brown win.

Failure to step back from a health care bill proven enormously unpopular. Failure to utilize new, effective tools and tactics for reaching voters like social media and online advertising. Failure to hold frequent townhalls, forums or events whereby a conversation takes place between candidate and citizens.

These failures are all hairline fractures caused by the same injury: arrogance.  It’s so last year to criticize Republicans for aloofness, but it will be so this year if we don’t take a measured response to Brown’s victory. 

Challenges to a Wiki White House

Right there with expectations to redirect the nation’s slumping economy and achieve miraculous Middle East peace, are the expectations for a new generation of openness and transparency from the Barack Obama White House.

Recently, I joined a panel called “Wiki White House” hosted by the New America Foundation and Wired magazine as the token conservative.  More a pragmatist than a dreamer, I reveled in the opportunity to highlight where the Obama team’s efforts at openness should be lauded and where they should be met with a skeptical eye. 

Applause-worthy

1. Updating the antiquated weekly radio address format by offering it on YouTube.  The Bush White House broke ground by offering the weekly radio address as a downloadable podcast, but the times call video.  I’d place my bets on the Bush White House offering a YouTube version of the address had he taken office in 2008, but unfortunately many Republican (and Democratic) Senators and Governors are still afraid to go there).

2. Accepting submissions for ideas to improve health care (presumably followed by other key issues).  Even after the FISA debacle – where Obama’s supporters used his own campaign website to protest his position – the Obama team recognizes that the American people want a stake in the process of shaping their man’s positions and policies.   

3. Opening up comments on the White House YouTube channel (itself a new addition, although as of this post, Minority Leader John Boehner’s YouTube response to the weekly address had not been approved).
 
 4. Prioritizing continued communication to and engagement of the 13 million people signed up for email and the 3 million my.BarackObama.com participants. (much to conservatives’ dismay…more on that later)

5. Easy-access specific agenda items on nearly two-dozen issues on WhiteHouse.gov.

6. Forming a Technology Innovation and Government Reform (TIGR, pronounced like the Winnie the Pooh character) team for the transition.  

Skepticism-worthy

1. Deleted Blagojevich comments on Change.gov.  What standard will the White House apply to user-submitted comments?  A pre- or post-censorship model forces the White House (and any agencies who follow suit) into assuming responsibility for every comment up there.  Once you delete one comment, you effectively say the remaining comments are acceptable.  Removing a comment from a campaign site is the campaign’s prerogative; campaigns are public.  Removing a comment from a government site, namely the White House, opens one up to potential First Amendment infringements.

2. Executive orders signed before opening to public comment (or merely giving a heads up). Being transparent about sweeping executive orders before singing them is more important than providing an inside look at the whistlestop tour taking Obama to DC for the inauguration.

3. Whether we will see more meetings opened up via YouTube video.  (These types of videos hint that we will, but as tough decisions are made, will the White House be as willing to pull back the curtain to the public?)

4.  Whether true transparency will come along with prompts for mass participation.  The briefing book effort through Change.gov asked for input on policy to be catalogued in a briefing book for the new President.  Yet, input is the first step, collaboration is the next.  Will the public’s ideas be considered in policy meetings, or was the briefing book effort a gimmick? A true collaborative effort would call for the White House to post the outline of a policy proposal, and invite input Wiki-style, then posting the final product for collaborators to see the fruits of their labor.

5. If you do allow mass participation, how do you ensure the conversation is not dominated by a loud, angry minority without censorship? On one hand, the loud and the angry can discourage participation by the engaged, yet tempered. On the other hand, if the administration demonstrates that active participation matters, that ideas from the rank-and-file are considered and folded in, the often inactive have an incentive to collaborate.  And what about the bi-partisan approach President Obama has promised?  If the Obama for America group will be depended on to act as grassroots lobbyists for the administration’s agenda, doesn’t that give grossly unbalanced influence to political, partisan activists?

6. Despite the demands of open government advocates on the Left who worked stumped their heart out for Obama, the administration has yet to announce a senior White House level CIO or CTO.  Who is leading the technology innovation charge? This video demonstrates that the administration is taking tech innovation and government reform seriously, but they’ve yet to give a reason as to why no CIO, and given the power Obama is amassing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a White House-level official would be preferable to a Cabinet position by the open government crowd.

7. Finally, while the Obama administration’s overtures to focus on tech innovation and government reform win them mad props by the media and Obamamaniacs, will they overlook the basics?  When a blog that strikes a partisan, propagandistic tone serves as the only source for White House happenings, it’s beginning to look like they will.  Where are the press releases and the speeches? 

The question the Wiki White House event sought to answer: what happens when “change” meets the obstacle of bureaucracy in governance? This is a question certainly that the Obama administration grapples with – with power brings the pressure to control ones environment.

Opportunity

Despite the challenges, we should expect for a White House that focuses more on transparency, open, collaborative governance and technology innovation than any other.   

Yet, if and when they falter, it’s the minority party’s job to hold the vehicles of power accountable.  Yet, we must do so by setting an example, not as hypocrites.  We can't let bureaucracy be an excuse; we must challenge the status quo like John Culberson did when he started tweeting from the House floor and House Republicans did by refusing to let the majority ban linking out to YouTube and other social media from House web properties.  We can’t ask of the Obama administration what our own fail to offer.

One man’s challenges are another man’s – or party’s -- opportunity. 

Role of RNC Chairman

Are we clear on the role of the RNC Chairman or does it need to be better defined? 

As a co-founder of Rebuild the Party, I’m staying neutral in the RNC Chairman race (at least for now); yet, I’m heavily invested in the process and ensuring we elect the best man for the job. 

I’m encouraged that the race for Chairman, hopefully in small part due to our efforts at Rebuild, has morphed into a more open process.  For a job as important as RNC Chairman, candidates should endure at least as stringent a job interview process as candidates for office.  In years when our Party holds the White House, we don’t have such a luxury.  In years when we get crushed, like we have the last two cycles, we do have that luxury.

Our Party is in crisis.  Let’s resort back to our Crisis Management 101 books.  Crisis is defined as a “turning point” and “danger and opportunity.”  At this turning point, we have a tremendous opportunity to leverage our best talent to revive the Party. 

RNC voting members have power, this time around, to choose who our fearless leader will be.  We all have an opportunity to use our voices, and any communication tool at our disposal, to influence the choice of the voting members.

The process for picking an RNC Chairman is crucial.  If we can agree that the RNC Chairman’s race is a job interview, then we should have a specific job description, at least as it fits each cycle, understanding that the job of Chairman with a Republican president differs from the job when there is not.  From what I can see, the only official job description of the RNC Chairman is “CEO” of the Republican National Committee.

Similar to the Vice Presidency, the RNC Chairman’s role is amorphous, so I seek to define it for the upcoming term:

1. Director of Operations at the Republican National Committee, providing guidance and leadership on message, fundraising and political strategy for the Republican Party.

2. Chief messenger of the Party, communicating the Party’s positions, ideas and opinions on current events through all media.

3. Chief fundraiser of the Party, making themselves available to headline Republican events across the country to raise money for the RNC and local Party organizations.

4. Director of Party Relationships, building and maintaining strong relationships with State Party leaders, allied 3rd party groups, issue groups, demographic groups and niche “wing of the party” groups.

What is not included in the job description as Kathryn Jean Lopez touches on (and I’ve been musing about):

1. Chief Policy Advisor for the Republican Party

2. Chief Agenda Setter for the Republican Party

This is not to say that showing leadership on issues, and robust knowledge on tax, energy, health care, and [name that issue] policy, is not a plus.  It is.  But I think we need to take care to frame the RNC Chairman’s job for what it should be, unless I’m totally off base and we expect a Chairman to be what we want in a 2012 presidential candidate.

I’m interested in your thoughts.  

Not All Meetings are a Useless Waste of Time

 When I read that RNC member Gary Emineth, the North Dakota GOP Chairman, organized a coalition to demand an unprecedented "special" RNC meeting before the RNC Chairman's election, I had my usual reaction: "Another meeting?...ugh...what a waste." 

On campaign after campaign, I've bemoaned the fact that too much time, out of a typical 14-hour workday, goes to useless time-wasters.  No, I'm not referring to staffers who surf the Web, look at their friend's pics on Facebook, or play practical jokes on the guy or gal in the next cube over.  Those serve an important purpose compared to the biggest, most useless, waste of time on most campaigns: the never-ending, often unfocused meetings where little, if anything gets accomplished, except teeth grinding, nail chewing and overeating.

Thus, I've come to hate the word "meeting."  "Let's get together on," or "rendezvous about" or "discuss over coffee," are preferable.  Meeting sounds so official, institutional, excessive.

But then I read on, and opened my mind...and sipped some coffee.

This special RNC meeting, which RNC Chairman Mike Duncan has now called, has made an impact even before being held.  It has traveled a road that most other meetings never dare travel.  RNC members have successfully coalesced around an idea, a plan, and quickly put it into action.  They have been pro-active.  They have shown leadership.  They have provided much hope for the future of the Party.  They have already taken a step towards accomplishing their goal -- a more open forum for major party decisions.

Just as important, the RNC members have built on the ideas of others, even more low-down in the totem pole of official Party power: grassoots organizations outside the official Party heirarchy.  Since Election Day, several organizations, old and new, have pushed and prodded open the RNC Chairman's race. 

Americans for Tax Reform has held meetings and is planning a debate of their own.  Rebuild the Party, an organization I'm particularly proud of, has secured the endorsement of 5 out of 6 candidates for RNC Chairman and built an organization of over 10,000 people who want a stake in the future of the RNC.  ChooseYourChairman.com allows regular people to contact the RNC members in their state expressing support for one of the candidates for Chairman.

These and similar organizations share a common goal, the best interest of the Party as it seeks to revive itself.  They might differ in their approach, but that's what debates are for; debating the specific tactics and approaches our next RNC Chairman should take should drive the agenda at the (cough, cough) meeting on January 7th at a currently undiclosed location.

Emineth was beaten up at first by the blogosphere for this apparently heinous quote in The Hill, 'At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what the public thinks; it matters what 168 of us think.' Yet, when put in context (which he provided for us via blog post and in a follow-up Hill article) one understands that this quote resulted from the same frustration shared by many Republican activists.  Emineth, a sitting RNC Chairman, has felt powerless to make a different within the RNC power structure.  This powerless feeling has permeated Republican activists and organizations as they've felt obliged to cater to the will of a Republican White House, and at times, a Republican majority in Congress.  

Emineth, and the coalition that called for the (cough, cough) meeting see the opportunity at hand: an open field, the lack of a mandate.  In such a situation, the RNC members play an important role, electing the next Chairman.  In the past, most of these same RNC members have merely had the chance to approve the RNC Chairman for cosmetic purposes.  

If our elected RNC members don't even have real power in the Party, should we expect the grassroots to be empowered? 

Emineth and the coalition behind his effort have taken a baby step that shows real promise for a more open, productive and innovative Republican Party. Even if they had to call a meeting to do it.    

One Small Step for the Right

To echo and build on Patrick's post.

When a few of us channeled our efforts to RebuildtheParty.com, we intended to jumpstart the conversation about what the Party must do from a tactical standpoint to rebuild.  We did not intend to provide an all-encompassing manifesto that will guarantee a renewed Republican majority.

Our philosophy: rather than sit around and meet behind closed doors or wait for the perfect plan, let’s get started right away making changes within the party infrastructure. 

Let’s impact the conversations about what the Party must do to rebuild.  Let’s ensure, as a start, that the next Republican National Committee Chairman sets the right tone from a tactical perspective.  Most importantly, let’s open up the process so that we, the Republican people, have a say in electing our next Party Chairman.

If we, or anyone, had a precise, complete roadmap for what the Party must do from an ideological or policy perspective, what would we have left to talk about on sites like this one? 

The direction the Party heads is up to you, it’s up to me, it’s up to anyone who cares to participate in the process.  It’s certainly also up to Obama and the Left as their actions will often drive our reactions. 

The political roadmap for the Right is a perpetual work in progress, but one that must be based on the core principles of limited government and individual liberty.  As Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty have suggested recently, we must harmonize conservative principles and fresh solutions when confronting today's challenges.

That’s easier said than done.  In fact, it’s a gargantuan challenge, and one that should not be left in the hands of the entrenched consultant class of the last decade, the conservative movement dead wood (as Erick Erickson calls them) and purely self-promotional politicians. 

If the RNC -- and up and down-ballot campaigns and the grassroots activists they depend on -- adopts the principles as outlined on RebuildtheParty.com, we can build a more active coalition of right-leaning Americans who want to make a difference.  We will have the opportunity to reclaim the “party of ideas” and “party of the people” mantles, and create a culture of competition.

This is what the Republican Party is based on.  RebuildtheParty.com is not the answer.  It’s a step, one could argue a baby one at that.

Yet, when a baby takes their first step, we celebrate.  Why?  Not because they are an Olympic-level walker, but because they’re making progress.

The Change Prescription

Pre-Election I posted about the disease the Republican Party has suffered from: arrogance, complacency, failure to adapt.

The disease has led to the President’s low approval rating, the loss of both houses in 2006, a less-than-inspiring 2008 presidential primary and now the sweeping in of President-elect Barack Obama.

The Republican Party’s disadvantage in organization, fundraising, and even favorable media coverage are all symptoms of that same failure to change.

Yet, now is not the time to hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves for being diagnosed with this disease, it’s the time to pursue the cure.  It’s a time to focus only on the causes of the disease for the purpose of remaining focused on the specific steps we can take to “get well.”

The election of Barack Obama is the turning point, the rock bottom.  Not only the numerical election results, but also the sheer exuberance that accompanied them should be the wake-up call Republicans, and our country, needs.  In the same way Type-2 diabetes, or a heart attack, is often the wake-up call one needs to diet and exercise, or a chronic cold is what one needs to slow down and reevaluate their lifestyle, we must act now. 

Again, I repeat this seemingly obvious quote, what I suggest as the mantra for the Republican Party in the next few months: if you don’t change, you won’t change.  I also point to a few guidelines for recovery from my last post on this topic.

If we don’t start now with a new, optimistic, yet aggressive approach towards reviving the conservative movement and the Republican Party, we will most definitely only have ourselves to blame.  If we want to survive, we can’t be like those chronic emphysema patients who bemoan their decrepit health, yet continue smoking through their bronchial tube. 

The vote count is in (mostly).  It’s time to finally admit that the status quo is not working; it’s time to democratize the Republican Party, to rewrite the playbook; it’s time to rebuild.
 

Traditional Blank is Dead

As I write, we don't know the victor of most elections across the country, but there is one thing we know for sure about Election 2008: traditional ________ is dead.

Here are 10 items that could be filled in the blank:

1. Polling
2. Fundraising
3. Media
4. Announcing for Office
5. Advertising
6. Debates
7. Voter ID
8. Get-Out-the-Vote
9. Campaign Structures
10. Candidates

Enough said.

If You Don't Change, You Won't Change

We complain about the superficial, biased coverage of the MSM. We are justified in doing so. Thus, we must not succumb to the same trite discussion of why McCain is losing and where the GOP went wrong.

The answer, my friends, is not found in one person, wing of the Party, policy approach or tactic.  The reasons the "circular firing squad" now points to – inconsistent message, poor fundraising, inferior integration of new technology, even the President's low approval rating -- are symptoms of the disease, not the cause of it. 

The disease is complacency with the status quo and arrogance.  The same disease that caused Republicans to lose the majority in both houses in 2006.   Americans demand change. Duh.   

David Frum summarizes this well in The Week as reported by Politico:

In The Week, former Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote of McCain's travails in a way that seemed to take defeat for granted and warned the GOP faces a long road back. "That's not a failure of campaign tactics. It's not even a failure of strategy. It's a failure of the Republican Party and conservative movement to adapt to the times."

The Republican Party must heed this quote in the coming months: If you don't change, you won't change.  

If the Republican Party doesn't re-establish a core set of principles that address the issues the majority of Americans care about, we will continue to lose support.  If we don't understand that raising money is not the most important function of a campaign or political organization, we will continue to raise less than our leftist counterparts.  If we don't stop holding ourselves hostage to an entrenched consultant class, we only have ourselves to blame.  If we don't set specific goals and make investments in new media and political technology training, we will continue to cede grassroots dominance to our political opponents.  And if we don't start listening to the American people, and addressing their concerns, rather than pursuing our own agenda, we will continue to be unpopular.

Election Day is one week away.  No matter the specific Republican vote count for President or seat count in the House and Senate, it will be time to finally admit that the status quo is not working; it will be time to democratize the Republican Party, to rewrite the playbook; it will be time rebuild.

It will be time to stop throwing blame around, and for every Republican official, candidate, staffer and consultant to open their eyes and ears to a new approach.

As someone who has advocated a new approach to the Republican Party for the last four years, I look forward to a more open, inclusive discussion about the way forward.  Meanwhile, I look forward to your input here.

 

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