WASHINGTON — Republicans will release the results of their postelection self-analysis next week, but a hint of the way forward may come from a meeting chairman Reince Priebus had Monday with black leaders in Brooklyn: A return by the national GOP to playing in local elections.
"We have to be a party that's community-based. We can't just be a party that shows up three months before the election and expects to do well. We have to be an organization that embraces candidates at a local level," Priebus said in an interview Tuesday morning.
To do so may mean reviving the GOP's local election division, founded in the 1970s by then-Republican National Committee Chairman Bill Brock, to train local candidates and campaign staff, Priebus said. That would allow Republicans to begin "building a bench of African-Americans and Hispanics that are running for things like city council and school board," he said.
This should have been done a long time ago (if done right). Detroit votes anywhere from 93-7 to 97-3 for democrats. It's a disaster outside of Downtown, Wayne State, and a couple of other areas and most know it. Democrats - including white democrats - ran it into the ground. On that same note, there's a lot of hard feelings both ways from white flight that gets blamed on Republicans (even though white progressives also fled and took their parasite politics with them). The major error that Republicans have regarding Detroit is not giving Detroiters a real choice election time. Name on the ballot campaigns aren't going to get the job done.
Can Detroit come back from the McNamara/Duggan/Kilpatrick gang of leftist democrats? Yes. Can it be brought back from white people or an EFM? No. Why not? Because what's going to happen when the EFM goes? Unless things change, it will be the same ole song and dance. It would take a turn away from "progressive" leftism in order for Detroit to make a comeback. It will take solid conservative leadership. It will require control of the four things that make a city work or not work. Jobs, Costs, Crime, and Schools. (not lofts). That is a long term undertaking required. No "Great White Hope" will be able to do it. No white suburbanites or country folk will be able to do it. They aren't trusted by Detroiters. They are outsiders. That's a fact, and nothing that they say will be able to change that. Don't feel guilty about it. Just accept it. It will take Detroiters - mostly black, but some white and Mexican, in order for Detroit to come back. It will take a cultural change by Detroiters. Can it be done? Yes. If they choose to do so.
The one thing that us "crackers" can do, is to give the Detroiters trying to change things, both city whites and city blacks enough support to start running actual grass roots campaigns. It starts with the non-partisan campaigns. Don't pander and send some celebrity there a month before the election or have whitey candidate visit and go to a soul food place for a photo-op. That a waste of time, money, and resources. Everyone cringes except those who pat themselves on the back and say how "tolerant" they are. The number of votes that gains. Zero.
Remember how Howard Dean talked about the 50 state strategy after 2004? A lot of people laughed at it. I didn't. It worked. It still works. It forces the other side to play defense when they otherwise would be on offense. We don't need 51% or even 30% of the Detroit, Southfield, Flint, Saginaw, Inkster, Pontiac, North Kalamazoo, Southern Grand Rapids, and Benton Harbor vote to win Michigan. Just as the dems need about 38% in Livingston County to win statewide, we need probably about 10% in Detroit and 20-25% in Southfield, Inkster, and Flint. In addition, we need to remember that more and more minorities are moving to suburbs and even the country. When people move out to our area, we need to welcome them and make sure they are a part of our community. They are here because they don't like aspects of their own community. That's an opening we have. We shouldn't make those who move here the "other." That shuts the door completely. Welcome them to out community, and more importantly, our culture.
In addition, if Democrats are on defense in their home base, they aren't in swing areas or playing on our turf.
Lessons from 2010 and Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts.
1. Run good candidates who fit the district. Bad candidates or incumbents lose seats that should not be lost. Like this one for example. Or Don Sherwood and Bill Sali on the Republican side in 2006 and 2008.
2. No seat is completely safe.
3. Arrogance fails. The beltway never learns. 1994. 2006/2008, and possible 2010. The "we know what's best for you" mentality is a killer. When government says and promises one thing and does another. When government is corrupt. When government forces strongly unpopular legislation. When government is incompetent. People get fired.
4. Howard Dean's 50 state strategy is and was a good strategy. Many republicans laughed at Howard Dean for this. I wasn't laughing. Every democrat should be challenged with a solid race. Not all will be won, but it's better to keep John Dingell campaigning in home and not helping other candidates, which he does very well.
In 2009, there was something of a comeback in the Northeast, hardly GOP territory.. That's a big deal, and it lead to some wins in 2010 (nationwide, but 14 in the NE) and an upset in Brooklyn/Queens in 2011 when Bob Turner won (and was later redistricted out of his seat in 2012).
With a good grassroots campaign - long term - run by locals with the support needed - we can cut our losses in those areas without compromising anything. It will have to be a long term effort and lead by the locals. Those locals need to be the face of the party in that area.
That leads me to one list thing. Some dumb idiot pundits in the media point to "Rush" or "Boehner" or someone else as the "leader" of the Republican Party. That's news to all of us. We don't need leaders. That's why organizing Republicans is like herding cats. We lead ourselves. We're not collectivists. We aren't drones of the union bosses. We use our due diligence to make the right decisions.We win here in Livingston County because we're right and we also see what democrats have done to neighboring communities.
Some communities don't have the benefit of the choices given by Livingston County. It's time for the 50 State strategy down to the community level to give all that choice to make. It needs to be done, and it needs to be done right.