Perhaps all those voters in Virginia and New Jersey didn't receive the memo. The demise of the Republican party has been greatly exaggerated. The Republican candidates in Virginia and New Jersey took the governorships. The Lt Governorship went Republican in Virginia as did the Attorney General. And, in districts across the map, Republicans are winning elections where Democrats have held power for years. Westchester county, New York is an example of an electoral surprise.
Liberals with blinders on - from the White House on down to newspaper columnists - are busy, busy, busy. They are spinning as fast as they can. Do not believe your lying eyes, you American voter. This is no big deal. This is no reflection of the attitude of the electorate on what is happening in Washington. This is no reflection on the political capital Barack Obama possesses.
Yeah, right. There is still much work to do but the Republican party is, as Juan Williams put it tonight, better off, much better off, than just a year ago. The rebound has begun. The race in NY-23 will be a lesson learned, though. What does this race say to the GOP? It says that the primary system is the best system for choosing a candidate. A small gathering of party elites sitting around a diner and appointing a candidate is a brain-dead move. They chose a liberal Republican - there is no moderation to her stated positions - and then the emerging tea party conservatives propped up a third candidate. The Republican was on a quick down hill ride after her positions on issues emerged and nothing pointed to 'conservative'. The third party candidate began a surge in the polls as Sarah Palin and other conservatives jumped into this district race, usually for the publicity it brings to champion an unknown candidate. The faithful applauded and it was off to the races for Doug Hoffman. He was not the best candidate anyone would hope for - he didn't even live in the district but the Palin faithful didn't seem to be hung up on such petty points. Instead of taking out their frustration on the local GOP elites that produced this mess, they took it out on the national party who sent money for the GOP candidate, as is their job.
Newt Gingrich did what he thought was the appropriate move, he supported the GOP candidate and all hell broke loose. There were even Internet demands by bloggers and those on Twitter that he be "purged" from the party. This is the man who brought about the Republican Revolution in the early 1990's under President Bill Clinton and stopped his agenda in its first year. This is the insanity of the overzealous with no sense of political history.
And, those who say the GOP has to purge all those perceived as "RINOs". Good luck with that. The party is shrunk enough. It is time to welcome in to the tent those that identify as conservative Independent voters. That is the only hope of electoral victory for either party. There is no such winning equation as shrinking the pool of voters and winning the election. It is common sense. Independent voters made the difference in 2008 and in last night's elections.
Political parties are not private clubs. Bashing 'establishment' Republicans is ludicrous and ignorant. It's like children rebelling against parents. And if shutting off monetary donations is your way of sending a message to the party leaders, good luck finding candidates that can run a successful campaign on a shoe string. Everyone has to pull together instead of wasting time and energy in a circular firing squad.
Republicans will benefit from the dissatisfaction that is descending upon Barack Obama and his power grabs. He is doing his best to establish a permanent Democratic majority - especially with the health care reform power grab - and we cannot stop him if we are not united in our efforts.
Local candidates must be groomed to be brought though the ranks and ready to compete at the national level. This is where grass root activism comes into play. Get out there and encourage common sense people with an interest in politics to run for office, no matter how small the office may seem. It all starts somewhere. Then the conservative movement falls into place. There is no substitution for training and preparation. Doug Hoffman could have used some preparation. He gave lousy interviews on national television as his numbers grew. He was not an inspiring candidate.
Barack Obama and Rahm Emmanuel knew exactly what they were doing when John McHugh was chosen by them for his new position in the administration. They wanted the seat to go Democrat. They succeeded. That seat has been Republican for decades.
It was a good night for Republicans. Savor the wins. Then, get to work. Get involved at your local level and go from there. Real change comes from the bottom up. Common sense.