Saturday, June 21, 2008

Complacent Republicans

For twelve years now, Republicans have not had to work to win elections. The 1998 election, the election in which the Republicans won control of the statewide races for the first time since 1876, was the last time the Republican Party really had to work to win races. Since then, the Republican Party of Texas has run on George Bush's leadership, popularity within Texas, and legacy. Times they are a changing.

This year is the first time since 1994 that George Bush has not had a presence on the Texas ballot. The Texas GOP has not had the need to work to win races for a number of years. The candidates just put their name on the ballot and win in many cases.

My friend Will Lutz, the Managing Editor of the Lone Star Report, authored an op-ed about the RPT convention that is featured on the Dallas Blog. In this article, Will points out many facts that the GOP needs to focus on to compete with the Democrats this year. One of his best points is this:

The party is going to have to figure out a way to involve some of Paul’s supporters constructively in its affairs. Many of the Paul people have a lot in common with other factions of the party, though they may not always realize it. Frankly, the party could use a group of conservatives who are as enthusiastic on fiscal issues as the so-called “Religious Right” is on the social front. Both matter, and both could lend balance to the party.

The party cannot afford for swing-district Paul supporters to cast protest votes for Libertarians or not show up at all. Yet, mending the rifts that widened at this convention will be easier said than done. For one thing, many of the Paul people do not know what they want to do with the party apparatus if they ever get a hold of it.

The Republican Party has grown complacent over the past dozen years. This year we will have to roll up our sleeves and work to win elections. We will be forced to communicate our issues and our platform better than the Democrats, especially on fiscal policy. We will have to incorporate the hardest workers in the Texas Primary, the Ron Paul supporters, into the party and allow their voices to be heard. We will have to stop talking about reaching out to new voters and just do it.

If the GOP remains lazy this year and assumes a victory, it will ensure our defeat. Our down-ballot conservative candidates cannot afford to have lazy Republicans. Our party cannot afford to become the largest 527 PAC against Obama and must instead find ways to communicate our solutions and platform to help our candidates win. Complacency this year will cost us more than just Dallas County.


MJSamuelson said...


Anonymous said...

great post!