"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over-and-over . . . and expecting a different result."
I've been a conservative activist since the Goldwater days. But many of my fellow conservatives who are asking us to appeal to the "base" are wildly exaggerating the size of said base. (In the 2008 election, 23% of those voters identifying themselves as "conservative" cast their ballots for . . . Barack Obama.) There may be 10 million very confused "conservatives" out there. People in denial almost always do not win elections.
Right now in my home state of Pennsylvania, the big question is whether conservative Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey can beat "moderate" (i.e., liberal) Democrat Arlen Specter in the November 10, 2010 election.
Frankly, most careful observers wouldn't bet even their coffee money on Toomey. Consider: Incumbent Republican -- and uber-conservative -- Rick Santorum spent $26 million in 2006 - and got just over 40% of the vote. Pennsylvania is a Blue state, and it has been getting bluer.
Is there any way Toomey can win? One very thoughtful Republican analyst, Mike Avery, of the Lehigh Valley, thinks there is, and he has many suggestions (see below) for Toomey. Will Pat be wise enough to follow them?
I don't know. What I do know is that Pat is a "coat-tie-and-wing-tips" Republican in a "jeans-tee shirts-and-Reeboks" state. If he focuses laser-like on the base and peddles nothing more than the GOP's version of "old-time religion," he will get about as many votes as . . . Rick Santorum.
Mike Avery believes it doesn't have to be that way. His approach is part of the answer for Toomey, and it should work for other Republican candidates, including my particular favorite, Gov. Sarah Palin.
When the McCain Campaign decided to pull out of Michigan last October, Sarah Palin opposed the decision. She said she and Todd wanted to go into the auto plants and seek votes from the autoworkers. Frankly, she regarded them as "her people" -- something very unsual (but necessary) for a Republican candidate.
McCain thought he could win in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania with the GOP base. That proved to be a fantasy.
The rest is from Mike . . .
If the events of today, April 29, [with Specter becoming a Democrat], don't mobilize Republicans, we might as well as give the keys to the Republican party to the Democrats and get ready to become "subjects" for the rest of our lives.
James Carville has a new book entitled "40 More Years"; the premise is this: Republicans have been so stupid that the Democrats are going to be in power for the next 40 years. Do you "resemble" that remark by Carville, or do you resent it? Speak up!
Let's review today's events: Arlen Specter has become a Democrat. That's a good thing, because now we can beat him twice.
But not the way we are going. GM & Chrysler are now owned by the government and the UAW. This is the beginning of the end of our country unless we start now to fight back.
Attention Pat Toomey: Do you know that truck drivers are Republicans? When have Republican candidates ever made a trip to a truck stop in their "straight talk express" motor-homes? Never, is the answer. Another question: When have Republican candidates ever made a trip to Sturgis, SD, for biker week? Never is the answer. Did you know that bikers are Republicans? You have never thought about it, have you?
So I ask you, Pat Toomey, do you want to win the Senate seat now held by Arlen Specter? If you do, we can help that happen. Put on some jeans and sneakers, and wear a "Pat Toomey for Senate" T-shirt, get into your motor home and start going to truck stops, biker events, into the inner cities and to the outer cities, go to the Wal-Mart parking lots and to the shopping malls, to the church parking lots after services, and anywhere else "street-level" Americans live & congregate.
Right now, we are seeing a Republican Party being led by the same people doing the same thing over & over again expecting a different result each time. It's not going to happen, unless we begin to take in new people with new ideas and then implement them. Think of it this way, the Democrats are just jumping for joy seeing the same old people trying to lead the Republican party... they know it's a win-win for them. And a loss-loss for us.
So, we have nothing to lose by inviting a better class of losers [campaign advisers and activists] to give it a try for us... hey, they might even help us win.Pat, are you going to help change things? Or are you going to be satisfied with losing?
Self-serving [and self-deluding] we lose. Together we can win. -- Mike Avery
Steve adds: How much of Mike's piece do I agree with? Every word. Let's no recapitulate the failures of Rick Santorum. Instead, let's be brutally honest, figure out what's absolutely necessary to prevail . . . and then act like winners.