While speaking at the Georgia GOP State Convention recently, RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s statements included:
The chairman said he had inherited leadership of a party that was “stuck in a 1980s philosophy, using a 1990s strategy to win campaigns.”
The Republican demand for orthodoxy and purity, Steele said, risks making the party irrelevant to “the changing heartbeat of this nation.”
“We can no longer be afraid that to open up, to invite someone in, diminishes us. I don’t know how that works,” Steele said. “If you are true to your convictions, to your core, why are you so afraid to share that?”
Before he when to Savannah, Steele should have swung by southwest Georgia so we could sit on the porch, sip some sweet tea, eat a few locally produced Nether’s Pork Skins (made by a guy from my church) and I could have hooked a brother up with what’s what.
I would have explained to Steele that the South dominates his party now and those southerners are accustom to have things their way most of the time. If we are talking about 10 political points, they want their ranks in line on 9 points and the missing point can’t be the pro-life issue. The faith aspect makes abortion non-negotiable.
The GOP doesn’t need to let anyone “in;” that is not necessary. Steele needs to help them understand that elections are won with coalitions i.e. Reagan Democrats. Those coalitions are built on situations and circumstances of mutual benefit.
The GOP took power in Washington in the 90s because large numbers of faith-oriented, patriotic heartland Americans (Rs and Ds) supported them on faith issues, strong defense and what seemed like their commitment to fiscal restraint. The Democrats seem sincerely committed to addressing the kitchen table issues that current families are handling—Rs and Ds.
I would have told brother Steele that he could win some contested races in the congress next year if the grassroots of his party understood that sometimes non-Republicans support GOP candidates who are experts or advocates for the major issue in those voters’ lives. It is that simple.
For example, Georgia farmers agree with most of the Georgia congressional delegation on agriculture issues and USDA programs. In southwest Georgia, Republican farmers reluctantly vote for Rep. Sanford Bishop while southeast Georgia Democrat farmers support Republican Jack Kingston. It is all about the wallet in Georgia on agriculture, military bases, veterans, and transportation spending.
While the Democrats welcome “outside” support, Georgia GOPers are don’t understand that outsiders are there for different yet important reasons. Could the allied forces have won World War II without Stalin and the Russians?
I would have told Steele that my friends and I were cheering for him when he ran for the Senate in Maryland and that he will always have a home in the community if his party decides he should be elsewhere. That’s how we roll. Finally, I would have said that like private schools and churches, some of the grassroots people in his party join with the understand that most of the people there were….well, you know. Hey, is that the reason I when to a Black college? That Kumbaya Obama stuff is a sweet concept but in the meantime, you get in where you fit in down here and some of his party members join….you know..and they know too.
If moderate and centrist Democrats can coexist in a big party with the San Fran crew, then Steele’s party can do likewise or send the centrists right over. We can call them the Red Dogs.
“Red Rover, Red Rover, send Condi, Colin and Maine’s senators over.”