I was blog surfing earlier today when I came across the PowerLine piece “Looking for Scandal in All the Wrong Places,” and I was struck by this…
"UPI reported yesterday (via Power Line News) that the Democrats are "hunting through" the last three defense appropriations bills in search of a "scandal." The always-charming Democrats are looking for funding requests made by former Congressman Randy Cunningham, hoping to tie them to appropriations that were ultimately made. Cunningham, of course, is serving time in a federal penitentiary after admitting that he took bribes from defense contractors.”
Not that this is earth shattering in any way, but what is instructive about it is that the Dems are at it ALL THE TIME. This doesn’t particularly bother me, but it does call into question whether or not the Republicans have the fortitude to fight with the Dems going forward.
Hamstrung for years by playing nice, it is time for the GOP to recognize that the Daily Kos, the Schumer hit squads, and rampant trash bin rummaging is here to stay. The GOP needs to recognize this, and get down and dirty, or they are going to lose elections, not because they are wrong on the issues, but because they don’t know how to scrap in a knife fight. Face it politics is not longer the gentlemen’s wrestling club it was in the 60’s…it is down and dirty, and the GOP needs to man up for the future.
First and foremost, the GOP needs to focus on near term strategy…for this go no farther than Hugh Hewitt. Read his book, Painting the Map Red, and listen to his mantra… Win the war. Confirm the judges. Cut the taxes. Control the spending…if I might add…get the immigration issue right…fence, AND inclusive solution on guest workers. Do not concede 2006, by citing past statistics and pundit monologues.
2006 is winnable if the GOP decides not to collapse like the ’85 Bears after their Super Bowl win. Clear the decks of distractions, get back on message, and prepare for the season. This is no time to be distracted by cutting music videos, running for cover on important issues, and me-firsting the rest of the team. Stay together. Win in 2006.
Beyond that the GOP needs some guidance in their long term strategy, organization, and daily tactics.
Stick together...get the judges. The most imprtant kog in keeping the conservative movement rolling out into the future, is to finish re-shaping the composition of the Supreme Court. Conservatives should sacrifice all but their first born in order to do this. If the court is not re-aligned, the conservative movement could flounder before the completion of this decade. Republicans MUST hold the Presidency for four additional years beyond Bush...this will ensure that the most potentially devastating branch of government to the conservative agenda will be conservative going forward...for a very long time.
The Conservative movement is not a monolith, there are too many elements to carry forward on a narrow path, so consequently, Conservatives must learn to compromise from within, or do without...remember Ross Perot. Abandoning the party over a single issue, only swings the pendulum entirely the other way. We will all not get all of what we want from the Rebpublican party, but we will get a hell of a lot more than we will get from the Dems...remember Bill Clinton? Stick together...get the judges.
Don't Let the Dems Define the Fight. The Dems are defining the fight everyday, and the Republicans are left to react. NSA surveillance, immigration, censure, all illusory issues that are driving public opinion. The war is the issue...take it out of the hands of the MSM and bring it to the forefront on your terms: don't accept the terms of the America hating MSM pundits, TV actors, and ego-centric Dem pols. Define the war in its moral terms and get that message across. Drive the messaging on the economy. No "news" is not good news. Good news is good news. Get you messaging out through your best messengers. Get cohernent and strategic messaging out everyday, through your best orators. Everyday. Not just when the Dems have put you on the defensive.
Develop A Communications Wing to Compete With the MSM and the Print Media. Let's quit lamenting about the lefty MSM and print media, and get our own. Conservative minded businessmen, with responsible editors, can resuscitate both print and broadcast media. I think FOX is just the tip of the potential iceberg. But, this will have to be a part of a long term counter-offensive. We cannot continue to surrender the messages of the day entirely to the leftist elites. Hoping it changes will not make it so...get conservative investors to make a serious commitment to making conservative messaging as voluminous as the left leaning drivel we get every day from the now dying paper media, and the soon to be dead MSM broadcast news.
New media is important, but we can't surrender on old techniques until 100% of America is blogging everyday. We can't be elitist here...we need to recognize that old media WILL be a serious communication tool for years to come...let's play.
Play Dirty; Get Dirty If You Have To. The Powerline piece on the Dems looking to further embarass the Republicans over the Cunningham affair, and the Schumer Maryland dirty tricks campaign, are probably less than 1% of what the Dems are up to. We need to, within the limits of the law, play dirty. Conservatives need to have a well organized and forward looking research arm that is preparing for every liberal potentiality. We should have solid and verfiable background data, sound bites, and voting records on every potential candidate and all potential appointees. This is a long term project and the game is not over if we lose the Presidency, the House, or the Senate, so looking at potential Dems candidates now, is important.
The Dems play dirty (Filegate, Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas), the GOP needs to be ready to counterattack, and quit being shy about it. Stop these negative offensives by the Dems with direct action. Don't feel remorse or regret...just do it. When we hesitate, we only encourage the continued dirty politics that we get.
Be On The Offensive; Always. Whether in power, or organizing to regain power, be the party that is swinging, pushing, communicating...forcing a reaction or defensive play from the Dems. They do this continuoulsy. They know that many of their thrusts are easily parried, but they also get play in the MSM, and they get their negative messaging across. Anticipate, plan, and infuse energy into your base...not in a whacko Howard Dean or DailyKos way, but let the base know you have a heartbeat. Nobody likes getting battered around for two years between elections, with only tepid, reserve defenses being offered. Push the Dems...anyone remember Contract With America? Force meaningless votes in Congress that force Dem posers into the open. Shut out the Lincoln Chafee's from Party support...instantly...lose that seat for improved Party control. Everyone needs to get a sense that the GOP is focused, serious, AND in control. Be machine like.
Get on the Hugh wagon...this is not time to throw in the towel, and the future CAN be bright, but no one is going to hand it to us. We need the usual local organiztions. We need to attract good candidates. AND we need to play effectively in the hardball game we are in the the Dems.
Go big or stay home; bulk up or be crushed.