Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Doing stuff how it's always been done

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Doing stuff how it's always been done

Old school Republicans are one sorry bunch of clueless. Sorry, but it needs to be said.

First, there's this. Click on that link and just prepare to be sorely disappointed. 

The blog post is from an anonymous poster in Mississippi. In that state, the politically astute will recall,  a doddering Republican Establishment Senator Thad Cochran won a vicious primary against a younger, Tea Party-backed candidate.

Here's the gist of the blog post:

"WE ARE LOST and you...the GOP...just bet your last dollar on an old man that can barely walk, barely talk, and other geriatric candidates that you can control so the control you have had in the past will continue so I ask you...What profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?

I went to this event because I wanted to see the 11 million dollar man for myself. When it ended, 2 gentlemen that were behind me, young, well-dressed, affluent(or appeared that way) looked at each other and for a second I thought they were thinking what I was thinking...OMG we gave up McDaniels for this? But then one of them said Woohoo and clapped and then there was some mild clapping that followed. I know deep down in my heart they were thinking something different...OMG we are in trouble."

The parallels between the Cochran-McDaniel primary and the Roberts-Wolf race aren't perfect. The Mississippi race was far nastier, and Cochran, backed by the NRSC (shame, shame, shame on Jerry Moran and the group he chairs) resorted to blatant falsehoods that somehow McDaniel was a racist. 

That is by far the most disgusting charge a Republican can level at another Republican -- especially when there is no evidence to support it. It was race baiting, pure and simple. And I personally believe that should (not shall, but should) be beneath the Republicans. The Roberts-Wolf, though ugly, was no where near that level of pig pen.


The blog post goes into a lengthy reverie about how the author could not bear to be hard on Cochran, because he is a doddering old man. Pat Roberts is not a doddering old man. He's old, all right. But he isn't doddering. He's as energetic as any 25-year-old still living in his parents' basement playing videogames. (That's to say, he's still got some get-up-and-go, but maybe not the same amount as a 25-year-old athlete.)
Anyway, the blogger has some meaningful things to say about the current Republican Party. He (or she) questions how the Republican Party would rally around someone who so obviously should retire. About the rally he attended, he writes:

"I can tell you one thing...there was no excitement, there was no passion, and there was no hope...just people going through the motions of what? I don't know."

Preach it, Brother Whoever You Are. 

In the last few days, I have been especially troubled that Republican candidates seem to be hanging their hopes on old-style campaigning. While Democrats are using their considerable war chests hiring (astroturf) people to go door-to-door and rally specific demographics to vote, Republicans are spending the majority of their campaign funds for things like television commercials. (You can read more about it at DailyKos. Sorry.)

Quick show of hands: How many of you actually watch commercials when you sit in front of the television? 

Yeah. Me neither. In addition to elect-me promises that sound like Back to the Future -- hello, Todd Tiahrt -- Republicans are campaigning like it's 1985. Between Netflix, On Demand cable programming and my DVR, I almost never watch the commercials. (The commercials I've linked to here, I've seen only because they are available on YouTube and I look for them.) Blowing a campaign war chest on commercials is so last week. (Or really, last decade).

In 2012, President Obama specifically targeted black voters. His primary objective was to register record numbers of black voters and drive them to the polls. He did this partially through traditional advertising, but primarily, he used initiatives like targeting barber and beauty shops in specific neighborhoods.

Democrats are following that playbook in 2014. I don't know if it will work in this election, but it is definitely going to make election margins much tighter for Republicans than they traditionally would be.

And Roberts, Moran via the NRSC, and the Republican Governor's Association may as well be using stone tablets to get their message out.

Does Roberts have a ground game, like, at all? How many doorsteps has Roberts himself visited? I'm guessing pitifully few. Had the Senator ever actually had to mount a competitive campaign, he would at least have a core group of grassroots people in every corner of the state ready to rally voters to his cause. (Yoder seems to be doing yeoman's work, campaigning like he's got a tight race. This bodes well for his continued success in the future.)

It's true Republicans are coming around, somewhat. Last election cycle, the National GOP Committee finally figured out that having a bunch of offices in Washington D.C. was stupid. (Shame on Republicans for letting Democrats figure this out first.) Supposedly, the National GOP has fanned out setting up offices across the nation this year. 

It's a start, but it may be too little too late.

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