A Rightroots Movement != Shilling for the GOP

My post on the rightroots has provoked a few critical responses, the best of which come from Dan Riehl, Melissa Clouthier, James Joyner, and Rick Moran.

Riehl brings up a point I hear quite a lot:

How is it I am supposed to get all fired up about raising money for a GOP that hasn't really looked conservative and perhaps not even worth supporting for a number of years? People will blog AND raise money for things they believe in. Maybe if more Conservative and center-Right bloggers started to believe in the GOP, again - it wouldn't be such a difficult thing to do?

It's a good question, but ultimately a straw man. No one is talking about the right blogs becoming a cheering section for the GOP. This is not what the netroots are to the Dems. What I think I'm talking about is a rightroots that is an independent political force to change the GOP.

Case in point: the 2006 Rhode Island Senate primary.

Many conservative bloggers objected to the NRSC and the RNC propping up Lincoln Chafee. The objections were 1) why prop up someone who is probably a goner anyway, 2) why waste resources on someone on whose vote we could count on maybe a third of the time, when other conservative Senators were equally endangered, and 3) why blow the NRSC's national fundraising and reputation as a good steward of donor-activists' money in an uphill bid to save the most hated "Republican" Senator when the house was burning down across the board?

Republican bloggers fulminated over the race. They clearly wanted Stephen Laffey to win, or at a minimum to keep the national party from poking the base in the eye. But I didn't see very many fundraising appeals for Laffey to blunt the NRSC's $1 million+ infusion into the race.

Would such an intervention have constituted "cheerleading" or "shilling" for the national GOP? Hardly. It would have been the rightroots organizing against the national GOP!

Sometimes the party will be right, and sometimes the party will be wrong. Even as someone who's worked in the party, I want an independent force that can set it right when it goes wrong. We currently don't have that. And it isn't just fundraising, but knowing what buttons to push advocacy-wise. The biggest contribution of the netroots to 2006 wasn't the money they directly raised, but the "use it or lose it" campaign that pushed members with huge warchests to put some of that money into the bid to recapture Congress.

Has anyone even bothered to ask safe small-state Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) to unload some of his $14 million warchest to help save us from complete annihilation in the Senate? No. So, instead, we have the RNC taking out a $5 million line of credit.

How is helping conservatives like John Shadegg and Tom McClintock "shilling"? Should both be part of the next Congress, they will be reliable voices against all that is wrong with the current party. The pundit site of the conservative blogosphere may not want to help the GOP establishment, but they sure don't want to help the people fighting against that establishment either. This isn't just a refusal to help the bad guys, but playing Switzerland when there are actual good guys in the fight.

But then again, I return to my point about needing new voices. Many bloggers, and I think Rick Moran and Joyner channel this, style themselves as new-age George Wills -- pundits who are above all else committed to the correctness and consistency of their own ideas, not any broader party or even cause. Just as George Will won't become Karl Rove overnight, many bloggers won't change because activism is not their cup of tea. That's fine and respectable, but don't talk down the necessity of political action or pretend that punditry is the only way. Conservatism had a well-developed pundit class before bloggers came along. It is our activist class that is wanting.

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Amen Patrick

Absolutely... spot on analysis...

The lefty blogosphere didnt just start supporting the establishment in the democratic party, it started actively pushing their own people, ideas and philosophies into prominance, which forced the left's leadership to take notice and start sucking up to that political power.

If a similar grassroots movement began for the right, it would do something similar - DRIVE the conversation, MOVE the political yardstick, and realign the GOP into its more appropriate sphere in touch with the grassroots activists.

Well thought out, sir.

A Serious Conservative in Every Primary

I think your point is spot on as well. I've heard a number of people talk about forming third parties because they're upset with the GOP, but if you're upset with the GOP, vote for primary challengers who are doing things right, rather than ditch the whole party. Let's make the primaries real fights and have some fun.

The Club For Growth has done a nice job recently of making primaries serious business for straying Republicans like Specter and others. The Club for Growth is great, but we need to get a grassroots conservative system set up to recruit, fund and do GOTV for conservative primary challengers nationwide, up and down the ballot.


study your opponents. Tester is for a higher start to the Estate Tax (it's his constituents who get burned, after all). I think you do everyone a disservice by asking for people to run badly.

Good job, Patrick

I think you're right about aspirations to be George Will rather than Karl Rove.

Are we too invested in judging and criticizing than we are in getting our hands dirty in the compromise formation that is practical politics? Sometimes I think modern conservatives are too enamoured of our own ideals to ever make what will always only be a messy progress toward them. We've dominated or controlled most of the Federal government since 1980 and yet from abortion to the size of the government few of our ideals have been realized.

There is a conviction amongst conservatives that our principles and platforms are perfect. We only lack the right people to implement them faithfully. And time and time again we find ourselves disappointed in our our leaders. Perhaps before we seek to hold our leaders and elected officials accountable, we need to hold ourselves accountable. Perhaps each of us needs to ask himself a simple question: what can I do today to make things just a little bit better?

trying to understand

Thanks for the post.  It is helping me get a handle on what you are talking about.  (I imagine others are a bit confused, too.) 

Would I be correct in thinking this would be sort of a smaller, more long-term version of the short, intense anti-amnesty bill blitz?  Kind of a continuous, "holding their feet to the fire" process, where the conservative base acts as an independent source of funds and supplies for politicians that actually are good guys?

Am I on the correct path?


re: Rhode Island and 'the cause'

I figured I'd weigh in here since I'm not only a native Rhode Islander, but a native Cranstonian - the same city Steve Laffey was mayor of.  I've longed lived in Northern Virginia, well before Laffey was in office.  But an observation I'd have is that if you're going to do conservative grassroots stuff, then you're still going to have to tailor it a bit to the state or the district.  Different areas of the county will have different appeals.  In RI, you an't be too conservaitve on any thing at all - if you do, you'll lose.

Laffey is a 'good goverment' conservative.  Cranston was a fiscal mess before he got it.  He helped straighten in out.  Being very conservative on social issues or pro-Iraq war or to have similar views on the environment as the Bush administration wouldn't fly.

That could be seen as a patial justification for a Lincoln Chafee.  And that would be somewhat correct.  But for grassroots to work, I'd say it may be necessary to start with with open seats and figure out what touch points can work in that type of district or state.  That requires learning what how people think and feel.  I remember the RNC ran ads against a Democrat running years ago - I can't remember whom - and they said that we was a tool of labor unions.  Well, labor is big in Rhode Island and that was a dumb tactic.

Also, remember, the Kos type grassroots efforts largely failed at first.  They were (well, they still are) extremeist types who were too purist.  They've now learned and are more successful.

That is good point

Many conservatives don't seem to understand that a national conservative movement simply "projecting" itself into all 50 states makes about much sense as the nationalized, one-size-fits-all health care and public education schemes that the Democrats love so much.

That being said your analysis of your home state makes me glad I'm not a northeasterner.  While New England can be very scenic (especially this time of year) it is culturally and economically way too liberal for me.  That is why RI has an unemployment rate that is 40% higher than the rest of the nation, precisely because it has some the highest taxes in the country and too much unfettered union corruption, not that the average Rhode Islander would make the connection (they think it is all Bush's fault).

New England used to be reliably Republican

Fiscal conservatives, all. Even with Socialist Sanders up there (and I do love Bernie!)

I completely agree -- I was

I completely agree -- I was just curious when the Kos Kids STOPPED being purist ideologues. I would hate to see what they were before.

try hearing the difference between mydd

and kos. Not that mydd is insane on the purity standpoint, but they are a lot more focused on "old" issues like abortion.

Isn't this where RINOs come from?

Isn't this where RINOs come from? How do we feel about that?

Do we really want to elect more Lincoln Chafees?

You Have to Be Where Your Audience Is

I followed this discussion from the previous thread with great interest.  Observations from Darvin Dowdy,  Peter Jackson, davidfarrar, Big Ben and others impressed me.   But, here is my proposition for debate:  Many of the People Who Would Support Conservative Values and Candidates Aren't Reading Blogs

Folks, we are camped in enemy territory.  The Millenial Generation (and Millenial +) inhabits the Internet and you have to do a lot of prep work before you can get them to visit the right.  ONE reason for their left-spin was nailed by Lagomorph in "The Left has completely hiijacked education and journalism" (100% spot on) . 

If this proposition is correct, then you can link, blink  rednet(cute davidfarrar), and beg for funds until 2012 with no impact.  

I learned this lesson in trying to sell books that men of 40+ would like using online marketing.  (www.greatguybooks.com)  It's a total flop.  I soon found that guys with conservative values are a rarity in the far corners of the Web.  On the other hand, I could hardly post on the (small) conservative groups on Facebook, Twitter, or Friendfeed without getting pushback from liberal "trolls" hiding under the bridges  (and I see you have one or two of your own... somebody must be feeding them..)  These trolls are highly skilled at monopolizing the discussion and making the group or room less useful.  They are young, skilled, and motivated.   They get the Net. 

Your concept of growing the  Rightroots movement has to be a lot more directed, targeted, and subtle than Net Blogs.  It's extremely difficult to give examples without going to stereotypes, but I can observe that conservative talk radio is a lot more successful..in terms of dollars and influence..  than liberal talk radio!  

Instead of putting effort into the Internet where the conservatives largely are not, how about influencing the conservative talk radio "entertainers" to be less critical and more motivational?    How about taking back some print media?  I note that the WSJ and USA Today are at least flat in growth while the liberal NYT, WaPo, etc are in death spirals.  (Take that as a negative proof of the proposition.. liberal content looking for audience in the wrong place.. not Net)  

So, while I will and do blog on conservative issues (www.mostlyflying.com)  I suggest that our audience is 'elsewhere". .. not Net.  I love my Net tools... but the caution about trying to solve all carpentry problems with a hammer applies.   

By the way, I'd be happy to make friends with thoughtful conservatives on Twitter or Facebook... I'm Fderfler everywhere. 

I disagree with most of your political leanings, Patrick,...

... but you are absolutely spot on in this.  It's why I, who is decidedly progressive, read this blog regularly.  Most of the time I think it's pure conservative thinking, which I can appreciate, despite disagreeing.  Likewise, your analysis of the "left" netroots is correct.

Bottom line is I'd much prefer to debate on our honest ideas rather than the smears and distortions offered up by both parties on a regular basis.  "Left" and "right" blogs are, typically, simply more honest.

Who Have You Driven to Vote?

Johnson Springs said, Perhaps each of us needs to ask himself a simple question: what can I do today to make things just a little bit better?  

Excellent point... particularly at this instant.. what are we doing in front of our computers at all  on October 30??  We certainly are not going to change any minds. 

It's time for rubber on the road and faces in the polling places.  I have personally driven (in my own car with my own gas) five people to early voting who probably would not have otherwise cast a vote.  (two family members and three friends/neighbors).   Here in the middle of Florida, that is certainly more valuable than ALL the time I have ever spent blogging!  

Who have YOU driven to vote? 


well written

I thank you for your service to the cause!

I am going up to PA this weekend and will be there through Election Day. Take some time to consider what you can do to help. if you live in a blue state, consider sending a small contribution or going to the website to make calls into swing states. If you're boycotting McCain, consider helping a conservative running for Congress or Senate.

If nothing else, every time you see The One on TV or in the paper defiling the office he holds for the next 4 years, you won't also have to kick yourself for failing to do everything you could.

You want a movement for what?

if the converservative ideal is basically two things

1)  small government

2) free markets,

then when your movement takes control and cuts taxes and keeps the government from regulating then what?

and when the free market wont do it then what? Alan Greenspan said he was wrong, he didn't account for the greed in the system.

do you guys now acknowledge that there is greed in the system, and thus the need to regulate it?

And if you acknowledge a need for regulation, that implies government, thus how small of government do you really want?


can any of you actually quatify if you had power today, how much do you really want to cut government? what is your party plans for Healthcare, energy, and such? if the free market wont handle it then what?

a new movement will probably have to answer those questions.


Hold on a second. No capitalist would have said that there was no greed in the system before this collapse (and if they did, they probably didn't understand capitalism!). The most ardent free marketeers would have said (and still say) that self-interest is a powerful force for good. I think that the lessons are far different.

There are too people who've said there's no greed involved...

That was exactly Greenspan's position until just this week.  Read the NYTimes article about Greenspan's role in the economic crisis from about 2 weeks back (HUGE article - you can't miss it in a search there).  It's essentially the entire postulate of his recent book, and, again until this week, every time he's been called before Congress he's maintained the "no greed" position.

On a personal level, I've got a (very conservative) friend who's a stock analyst for UBS.  He and I have been arguing vociferously about this very subject.  Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, he maintains still that corporate greed had nothing to do with the economic crisis, claiming incredulously that it was all government's fault, and more incredulously blaming the Clinton Administration.  (%@##@#^#!!!!!!!111!!!)

You simply can't make the claim that no one is maintaining that greed is involved.  It's the crux of the far right conservative defense on the issue.

It's a simple difference

It's a simple difference between spitting out what the GOP decides is best and actually being involved in that proccess.

Patrick also makes an excellent point that most conservatives aren't naturally activists. Or they are activists in a different way than lefties. Lefties try to get other people to changes their behavior to fit a leftist ideology. Righties are usually motivated to activism because something threatens their way of life.

We need active citizenship

It's a simple difference between spitting out what the GOP decides is best and actually being involved in that proccess.

Patrick also makes an excellent point that most conservatives aren't naturally activists. Or they are activists in a different way than lefties. Lefties try to get other people to changes their behavior to fit a leftist ideology. Righties are usually motivated to activism because something threatens their way of life.

Good points. We have patriots who are fighting and dying in foreign places. We should at least have some conservatives who have the gumption to actually want to CHANGE America and save it from the slide towards socialism. Sitting on ones butt and either zoning out or merely pontificating dont cut it.

We need CITIZENS who are conservative activists, fighting the good fight in our culture and our politics for freedom, individual responsibility, America's traditions and values, and our free enterprise open way of life. Because all of this IS threatened - the American way of life is under attack.

As a friend has it as his slogan - Freedom aint free.

Good point.

It has been my experience that most local county Republican Party Executive Committees never ask their grassroot Republicans to participate, except when they send out their GOTV letters before every election. Other than that, the Party leadership considers grassroot Republican participation in party affairs a  nuisance.

Sure, you get a limited number of grassroot Party members who supported you in your EXC seat bid to participate, when necessary,  but getting general grassroot Republicans who live in your EXC jurisdiction involved in Party affairs opens up a whole can of worms and is generally kept to a minimum.

Let's face it, the party structure, as it stands right now, is perfectly happy with the vast majority of grassroot Republicans quietly going about their business until election time. It is then they are expected, on cue, to quietly march to the polls and vote for the candidate with the "R" beside their name.

If we want to change things, we are going to have to cyberly activate the grassroot Republican base.

So I hope instead of simply copying what the left has done with their netroots, we can learn from them, innovate and improve on what they have done so we can move ahead of them by the 2010, 2012 elections. Integrating the Party structure into any rightroot effort would be just such an innovation.

           ex animo

 Operation Rednet





Punditary is a disease on the Right

Conservative bloggers love to hear themselves talk and seem allergic to getting their hands dirty in the political trenches. Their efforts are of minimal use.

Nor do I think more Karl Roves is a good idea. Rove directed the 2000 campaign and Bush lost the popular vote (Against Al Gore) and he helped developed the "compassionate conservatism" strategy that cooled the enthusiasm of conservatives and helped lose both Houses of Congress and possibly the Presidency.

No Shills Allowed

Patrick (and a number of commentors) are completely correct on this.

DailyKOS didn't get to where it was because it was a shill for the Democratic party. They got to where they are due to their willingness to push their agenda upon the Democratic party. Now, realize I also believe they got the 'perfect storm' by getting beat twice by George W Bush when they were not promoting their view but focused upon the personalities of their party.

That's where we Republicans are now. It isn't that we promote conservative principles, it is because we have people who are promoting themselves and dragging us along with it. I hate to say it, but I classify McCain in that category. We're being forced in many people's minds into holding our nose to back McCain because the alternative is worse. But in doing so, we are promoting McCain the man, and not conservatism. We do this in many Senate and House races as well as in local races.

Our movement needs to focus on the issues. We've seen spurts of this: the immigration fight and #dontgo/Drill Here-Drill Now. When we do, we win, and win handily...not only against the Democrats/DailyKOS/MoveOn axis, but also against our own RINOs. But we're never organized enough to take this to the next level.

It is going to take time and money to do it, though. DailyKOS/MoveOn had a few big money benefactors to get them past the hump. They had a lot of energy and time from people who were not in the working class, like our side has. (No offense is actually intended in that statement, but conservatives are generally not that numerous in academic fields of work where a lot of spare time can be had.)

An issue that needs to also be addressed, and perhaps one of the bloggers here will agree and expound better than I can on, is the fact that since we aren't in academia, I feel we are slower to adopt technology to pursue our goals. KOS/MoveOn are powered by students, who are more apt to adopt leading edge technology. As part of our conservative nature, we are slower to react. This holds us back, unfortunately.

We have to get past these hurdles. If we can, we will take control of the Republican party just as DailyKOS has taken control of the Democrats.


Kos' key insight

Kos' key insight was that by providing an alternative source of funding to their preferred candidates they could provide safe harbor to those candidates from the necessity of taking party money and corporate money. The trick wasn't to allow elected officials to not be beholden to their funders, but rather to be the funders to whom the officials would be beholden.

Not exactly

  DKos and MoveOn may be great at pushing their own "progressive" ideology on the Democratic Party, but their biggest concern is winning elections.  For instance, DKos heavily pushed Democrats like Jim Webb and Bob Casey Jr., even though both of those men hold views that the far left would never support.  In each case it was more important to pick up the seats of Jim Webb and Rick Santorum respectively.  IF John McCain loses, it will not be the time to purge the Republican Party.  In two years the GOP will have gone from having control of the Presidency and Congress, to losing the Executive Branch and being the minority party, possibly without the ability to filibuster.  That kind of swing in two years can't be explained by some "RINO's" in the party.

  What the Republican Party needs to focus on isn't a war between social conservatives vs. economic conservatives or neocons vs. libertarians.  The GOP needs to focus on winning.  On recruiting better candidates into the upcoming races in the next two years and picking up seats, be they at the local, state, or national level.  Candidates that can win in their locations.  Someone like Sam Brownback will have just as tough a time winning Pennsylvania as Tom Ridge would have winning in Kansas.  That's probably why DKos and Dems were happy to back and raise money for Heath Schuler in NC and Jon Tester in MT and not someone like Nancy Pelosi or Dennis Kucinich.  Focusing an organized effort on raising money for GOP candidates throughout the country is what the GOP needs.  Ideological debates will surely happen along the way, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But sacrificing seats due to a candidate not being "the right type of Republican" or not being pure enough will only prolong our time in the wilderness.

This should be debated

These are good points but I would prefer the have the debate.

What do other think? What is the best strategy? Should we purge and rebuild with better, stronger candidates who really represent the flower of conservatism or should we do whatever we can to hang on to the seats we have and win elections anywhere with any kind of candidate?

You're right. It should be debated.

As I've said elsewhere in this thread, we always need to be focused on helping the most conservative electable candidate. With this as a starting point, our electoral strategy should begin with developing electable Republicans (as conservative as the electorate will tolerate, which means pretty moderate) in the Northeast and other deep blue states, and to a lesser degree purge a few rotten red-state apples like Ted Stevens (should he get re-elected) who are more moderate than their districts.

First, the libs have been quite happy electing socially conservative and fiscally liberal Democrats in the South to knock off our folks. The new Dems might not spearhead most efforts, but their presence helps ensure majority status and they displace Republicans who might otherwise be conservative leaders in safe seats. If we can elect Snowes and Smiths in blue states to replace the liberal lions, we are all better off. They may not help us very much in enacting our agenda, but they certainly won't do as much damage as Boxer or Reed do.

Second, I have attended county EC meetings in the past and David makes a good point when he says that we shouldn't seek to create new enemies in our own camp. Purging is stupid and if it produces candidates too conservative to get elected in their districts and results in a liberal Dem rather than a moderate Republican. We should be working together rather than fighting a civil war that destroys our trust of one another.

However, I think there is something to be gained from keeping an eye out for folks like Ted Stevens who come from conservative districts and stick their finger in the eye of conservatives. Challenging a handful of wayward Republicans a cycle and doing it successfully is probably enough to keep most GOP members from going off the reservation. Maintaining that credible threat is important.

Finally, though I think the general rule of supporting the most conservative electable candidate is very important, it won't give us the sort of conservative revolution we all seek. Electoral strategies operate in the short term realm and issue positions are fixed. To really push forward conservatism in general and allow for more conservative electable candidates, we need to articulate a detailed vision of how conservatism improves society.

What does it mean to be a conservative county board member (or the equivalent)? What is the non-government conservative plan to reduce hunger in the United States? What should conservative policies for school boards be? In the conservative vision for America, how do individuals, organizations and various levels of government work to build a more prosperous, free, and just society? These questions don't get answered when we focus purely on federal election strategy. This is fine for the statist Left, but not enough for a conservative movement that values people power and subsidiarity.

Let's win these elections but also pay serious attention to articulating a comprehensive vision for renewing America.



The most conservative electable candidate

I agree almost entirely with MiddleClassSqueeze.  My comments above were certainly unclear. In any given race, we should recruit, fund and work for the most conservative person electable in that race. We have to account for the situation, including the competitiveness of the race, the possibility of corruption, and most importantly the nature of the electorate, but in every situation we should be seeking to move the bar as far to the right as the constituents will support.

Conservatives have a mutually beneficial relationship with the GOP most of the time and we really have nowhere else to go. However, this means that the primary is the only time that we can really hold Republican incumbents to account. Taking primary challenges off the table means that moderate Republicans in conservative districts can drift leftward if that is their personal preference. However, pushing serious and electable candidates who are more conservative than the incumbent is expensive, not always practical, and in close races would hurt the cause. If we pick out a few wayward Republicans in conservative districts every cycle to challenge, that should get the biggest bang for our buck.

We have other things to focus on, like beating Dems, but when it comes to Republicans we should always be able to put forth the credible threat of a primary challenge.


I think you guys are underestimating the Internet.

But before I pick this apart, I need to know how many of you out there actually have GOP grassroots experience or have actually stood for and won a seat on your local county Republican Party Executive Committee? How many of you are EC members, or have been EC members of your local, county Republican Party in the past?

How many of you have ever actually been to a monthly county Republican Party Executive Committee meeting? How many of you even know where they hold their meetings. How many of you can name your county GOP Chair, or the names of the male and female EC members that represent you?

Please, if I can just get a discussion going with anyone who has answered "yes" to any one of these questions, then hopefully we can make some progress. But whatever we do, we surely can't stop now and re-invent the wheel and expect to be politically significant by 2010 or 2012. Nowbody can afford enemies in politics and succeed. Whatever is done, it must be done in a positive and constructive way.

The  rednet can succeed. We just have to be smart about its construction and implementation.

ex animo


Pundits/Blogesphere = Mutual Admiration Society...

...Way overrated.  Very tiny percentage of those that actually vote.  We look big to each other but lets not kid ourselves.  Large fish - small pond.  Is there any measurable impact created by blogs?  Sure.  Mostly among those that participate.  The blogesphere certainly is a good starting point and the internet a wonderful tool but what good is a tool unless it is in the hands of a master craftsman? 

Lets not lose sight of the mission. That of  rebuilding a massive, solid and "generous" voting base.  Many of whom rarely sit in front of a computer during their few leisure hours of the day.   Darvin Dowdy

You are probably right.

I have still yet to see the data that proves actual positive impact of the nutroots amongst people out side of the left.  When I do then I will be convinced that they have powerful force of the left that we one the right will have to deal with.

DD, do you have actual GOP grassroots experience?

I ask you this for two reasons: One, to make sure you understand, we already have a well organized base, whose computer literacy is there and growing every day. I would say of the total registered Republican base, well over 60% use e-mail, even the older generation are using computers to pass on family photographs to other relatives, et cetera. If the Party was to mount an aggressive cyber campaign to bring these people into some sort of an active cyber program, a solid political foundation could be laid for the 2010 Congressional election and the general election by 2012.

However -- and this is my second point -- trying to create an independent cyber network now will be like trying to re-invent the wheel. Of course it can be done eventually but not by 2010 or even by 2012.

We need to create a  Rednet to be sure, but one that will integrate itself into the existing party structure -- something our liberal democratic friends have thus far failed to do, but we must.

ex animo



I disagree with this

I cannot answer yes to any of your questions regarding the ECs, David, and I think they are legitimate questions.

Nevertheless, I feel like the party organization has not served the base well. Therefore, I would like to see the roots develop as an alternative to the main party organs to, among other things, put pressure on those organs to better listen to what the base wants.

I think a lot of us would say that Tom Delay has very good conservative credentials yet here is what House Majority Leader Delay had to say about cutting government spending in 2005:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

...Mr. DeLay said, "...after 11 years of Republican majority we've pared it down pretty good." 

This nonsense could only be spoken by a GOP leadership that feels it has nothing to fear from its right. I am not interested in enabling that. 

Now you raise a good point

The party leadership has been awful since the '95 budget impasse.  They have become spineless, and more interested in the trappings of power, than they have representing the base.  We do need an alternative organization for real conservatives who have no use for the useless GOP establsihment, many of whom are made up of RINOs, who actually have utter contempt for conservatives who simply want us to vote for their candidates and then "get to the back of the bus".

By accomplishing this we will remind the Republican Main Street Partnership, the Republican Leadership Council, the Log Cabin Republicans, the so-called Republican Youth Movement, the Ripon Society, Christie Todd Whitman's It's My Party Too PAC and its sister organization the Wish List (and other similar organizations) are simply a minority in the party.  That they are the fabian socialists to their Marxian counterparts in the Democrat party, who love "big Business" corporatism with all its intendent corporate welfare, appeasing union corruption, and talking about "keeping government out of bedrooms".  

That last line always makes me laugh.  Any thinking, rational individual would know government has no actual interest in our personal lives but sure the hell loves to stick its nose in our economic lives.  And these RINOs have absolutely no probelm with that.  Despite their pro-business rhetoric most of them wouldn't know the first thing about running a successful business nor would they actually try to do so.  Their whole existence is about government and how to use it to further their own ends.

No Farrar. I like to think of myself...

...as an average or slightly above average intellect w/ common sense and street smarts. No college degree which I wear as a badge of honor.  Instead of college I felt it important to spend 4 years in the U.S. Army Infantry/  11B20.  But I see things.  I see large groups/ blocks of potential voters that are being totally ignored.  I say large blocks - to me they're large.  And there are lots of 'em.  To the average GOP strategist they're not worth wasting time over.  Which demonstrates the reason for the great success the Repbulican party has had lately. Ha!

But you say they all have computers/email/internet access.  Might be true.  But only a small fraction visit political sites on a frequent basis.  Most are visiting fishing sites or quilting or sports, etc.  Millions upon millions of voters find politics to be an obnoxious and ultra boring subject.  Bringing up the subject is simply a big turnoff.  Like a turd in a punch bowl.    Few are like us, political junkies, here on this site and other similar sites. 

So since we can't lure them to us, we have to go onto their turf.  And that is where modern political strategists, both repub and dem,  have not a clue.  Totally dropped the ball.  They're lost wandering aimlessly in the wilderness, to proud/arrogant to admit that they're clueless.  What can I say?  Its going to take enlightened people and a well financed, oiled and finely tuned org to turn this thing around.  Certainly the internet will be a heavily used tool but not the only tool.  These "blocks" must be reached using any method available.  DD 

DD, A patriot's question

You obviously are a patriot as you've got the tour in the Army to prove it. So my question is this: To what extent can we appeal to and/or cutlivate that patriotic sense in those  groups of people for whom politics is a turnoff? How can we, if not getting them 'turned on' to politics, at least get them engaged enough to go:

"I NEED to be informed and active enough to keep America on an even keel. So I'll listen to these political junkies and take their advice."

Or is this crowd that you mention too self-absorbed for that ...

Most are visiting fishing sites or quilting or sports, etc.  Millions upon millions of voters find politics to be an obnoxious and ultra boring subject.  Bringing up the subject is simply a big turnoff.  Like a turd in a punch bowl.    Few are like us, political junkies, here on this site and other similar sites.

... and if not, what's the "HOOK" to get them on our side? I mean, other than the old-fashioned show-up-at-their-events and wear the silly hats and watch-the-NASCAR-race or do some shooting at duck etc. to show them your 'one of them'. that sells a candidate but I am interested in how to sell political engagement/involvement itself to the political apathetics.


I think the apathetics will no longer have the luxury of

being apathetic.  Whatever their interests are, they will come under attack from the power mad Obamunists.  These eltists hate many of their actvities for a variety of reasons, they particularly hate the people who enjoy them and they believe they can run the world better than the real people who actually make up the world.

They like hunting and fishing, well government is gonna try shut down much of the activity in the name of enviromental protection and so-called animal rights, they love guns and recreational shooting, well these anti-2nd amendment zealots are going to try and put a stop to that, and if they love NASCAR, well the green zealots hate all those carbon emissions (and the glorification of the automobile which they think is a greater threat to the world than nuclear weapons).  This is going to lead to the ultimate expression of political correctness dogma (PC is the euphemism for cultural marxism) which will be the so-called Fairness Doctrine and its internet counterpart called net neutrality.  Ultimately genuine freedom of speech will be dead if these idiotic schemes are successfully put in place.

This is where we conservative patriots must stand up and offer real leadership to the masses in an effort to protect our very liberties.  We msut show them how to argue and against these schemes and how they can get involved to protect their interests.

I like it BB4L...

...I think thats the difference between us, who keep up w/this sort of thing and those that run from it.  They are being irresponsible.  No doubt.  And irresponsibility always catches up w/you.  We need to get in their face about that truth. DD

FT, hate to say this...

...but its kinda'  like dealing w/children.  When you're trying to give them some instruction that they don't really want.  They're busy playing on the Play Station or something. There are different methods.  I'm not going to say much except that its going to take some real intense work and most important time.  And just like your children, you can't give up on them.  When it comes to people, there's always a "beaten path" to everything, every function, etc.  You've got to find those pathes and walk down 'em. Hope I'm making sense here. DD

DD, I am sure you are intelligent and experienced...

...in many areas, politics being one. But I am talking about a single application affecting a singularly organized political system, namely: the local, county Republican Party.  In order to discuss this subject in detail, some local knowledge of the subject at hand would be required.

As an example, you are correct when you state,"The Internet is simply not used enough to be effective at this time." True enough. But given a closed organization, situated within a given geographical area, with a "command and control" structure already in place, the Internet can be used to significantly increase the number of active participants within the given organization.

But the larger question is, will the present organizational power brokers allow such a redistribution of their power within the organizational structure? 

I believe it can be accomplished. It will require a forceful Party leader, dedicated to giving grassroot Republicans their voice within the Party structure. It will take a forceful Party leader, dedicated to giving grassroot Republicans an opportunity to speak out within the Party structure. It will take a forceful Party leader, dedicated to allowing the voices of grassroot Republicans to be heard by the Party leadership. In short, it can be done. All we need is the political will to get it done.

           ex animo

 Operation Rednet  



Farrar, so comforted to know...

...that you think I'm intelligent and experienced. Ha!  In essence I'm like you, just an average Joe-the-Plumber type.  The nation (and this site) is full of our ilk.  Anyone of them could just as easily do a better job of planning and implementing a  winning political strategy as some of those in the GOP Hierarchy.  No doubt.  I hear what your saying.  The grassroots is one thing. But they're generally made up of followers.  And they don't have not-a-freakin'-one to follow right now!  The true conservative grassroots has become a diaspora over the last  8 years.  Especially the last 4.  Leaderless!  Thats why we, you, I, and lots of the fine people on this comment board are excited about Palin.  But its still too early to tell.  The jury is still out on her.  Once we get the Leader(s), I think things will fall into place.  Some of the things that you're saying will, indeed, happen. 

Right now I think the most valuable aspect of the internet is that of rapid communication and acquiring information.  The networking of millions of individuals is still in its early stages, but, I agree, it could be the future.  I mean, certainly there's a lot of it going on now but its still in its developing stages.  Lots of work to do in all areas.  But I don't see much of it getting done.  Do you? DD

I though...

I thought this post was going to be about asking Curt Schilling to run...


good one

Actual GOP experience?

I can answer "yes" to all your questions, davidfarrar, except who's presently on my county EC, because I haven't been in touch for several years.  I left my local EC (served as vice-chair) about the time Dubya took office, when the local organization devoted itself to keeping a local cliche in office (all of whom have lost to Dems) and put upholding conservative principles at the back of the bus.

I'm looking for a place to put my anger and money to use, but right now it's not the GOP.


You are absolutely correct, Mr. Howard...

...we have been betrayed. Most of us feel the same as you.  What we are discussing here, however, is how best to address this fact in a way that will be politically useful by the 2010, 2012 elections.

While others may have different views as to how we go about addressing the situation, I feel the root cause of our problem stems from the fact that the leadership of the Republican Party did not allow its grassroot membership a voice. They did not allow the grassroot membership to speak out, especially during this last primary season.  Now there are many reasons for this, as we have discussed, but I feel our time would be better spent if we focused on how to remedy the present situation as fast as possible so we can have the greatest political impact on the 2010, 2012 elections

Therefore, if we were to give all registered Party members a voice in their own local EXC meetings, not just the seated EXC members, but all registered Party members in the county, it would make it harder for special interests to unduly influence Party leadership. It would act as a counter weight, a check on the Party leadership.

There are many, many other reasons to expand Party participation among registered Party members, in terms of fundraising, consolidation, Party empowerment in terms of "enforcement" should an elected Party member stray, et cetera, plus many others that may not be discussed in an open forum such as this.

Again, the heart of our present crisis stems from the fact that the top Party leadership has lost touch with its grassroot membership. And, again, the remedy is to give the membership its voice, i it speak out, and most importantly, let it be heard by the Party leadership.

With the Internet, we can do just that.  All we need is the political will to get it done.

           ex animo

Operation Rednet



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