December 4, 2008
Shaun Kenney has written a very thoughtful Open Letter to Virginia GOP, with his diagnosis of what is wrong with the party. He insists that nothing is wrong with ideas or principles of the Republican Party, but rather with the party's logistics, which he says are "a wreck." Well, there's no question about that. Shaun outlines a proposed reorganization of the state party, urging above all that the RPV hierarchy be accountable to the unit committees, not the other way around. That is certainly a commendable goal, but there is one major problem: Precisely because of misguided interference by RPV in local-level politics over the past year and a half, the composition of some of those committees is no longer representative of the people in the local community who identify themselves as Republicans. Indeed, the party has gone out of its way to alienate itself from mainstream voters, and that is why we keep losing.
In sum, while Shaun is on the right track with the details, I think he is missing the bigger picture, of why the logistics have become so degraded. The GOP in Virginia does not suffer from a lack of technical or managerial skill, but rather from a paranoid culture of exclusion. (You know, those people frothing at the mouth about "RINOs.") Until true leaders step forward to chastise the hot-heads who have led the party astray under the false pretense of ideological purity, things are not going to get better. I think we can still win some of the big state election contests next year, but we need to be gearing toward a long-term reform.
On the blue side of the spectrum, meanwhile, Waldo Jaquith cited the refusal by RPV Chair Jeff Frederick to apologize for linking Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden as a prime example of why the Republicans keep losing elections. Waldo repeated his suggestions to the Republicans with a delightful mixture of sincerity and snark. On one hand, he means exactly what he says, in terms of what the GOP needs to do, but on the other hand he knows very well that his advice won't be taken at face value by the other side, which is exactly what he wants.
Just remember, free advice is worth every penny you pay!
This time I'll have to agree with Greg Letiecq: Unless the AT&T cellular telephone store in Manassas doesn't stop the practice of courting illegal aliens as customers (e.g., by putting up window signs saying you don't need an ID or a Social Security number), then AT&T ought to be boycotted.