Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Republican Party Establishment Still Doesn't Get It

I had never seen Carl Rove in hysterics before. But, I think his performance on Hannity last night came pretty close. Rove is among many Republican Party elders that are upset over Chistine O'Donnell's win over career politician and liberal, Mike Castle.

Rove went into the traditional attack mode of throwing out a bunch of questions, designed to simulate accusations without really being accusations. It's a political maneuver used to try to tarnish a candidate without having to present any actual facts. Normally it's done by a party or campaign against its opponent. This time, the party is attacking its own. Both the Delaware state Republican machinery and the Republican National Senate Committee have said they will not support O'Donnell in the general election.

What's the beef? Well, Rove and his ilk are more about numbers and strategy than about principle. For many years, Republicans have ceded many districts and even states; not necessarily to Democrats, but to liberals. They made the decision that it's better to run a liberal Republican in some areas, than to run someone that actually believes in and will advocate for your core beliefs. After all, if your party has the right numbers, your party gets to set the Congressional agenda and the rules of debate. Who cares if half your members don't really support your efforts? The people care.

Rove and other Republican veteran power brokers believe it's a case of rookie candidates and voters who just don't understand the process and the long-term implications of their actions. Essentially, they're calling their own base stupid. What's really stupid is that the powers-that-be aren't grasping the very phenomenon that's put them in a position to achieve many victories in the Fall. People are tired of the back room deals and the going along to get along. They want representatives that will represent them. They aren't voting for a logo or a brand, they're voting for principles. The goal is to convince big government proponents that small government and individual freedom is better; not recruit big government Republicans. If that means you lose some races, you lose some races. Do a better job selling it next time.

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