Saturday, November 13, 2010

Challenging the Chairman

Something has been bugging me ever since I heard about Kevin DeWine bringing out the broom...and I can't help but think that Chairman Steele's having drawn a challenger in Saul Anuzis isn't a bad thing.

I don't think that any of these guys have learned their lesson...  Republicans won this round because they weren't the other guys.  That ain't a reason to celebrate.  It sure isn't a reason to think the GOP apparatus performed well or deserves promotion and/or retention.  Of course, "they" will continue to sell this as a "win" when in reality it wasn't a win for Republicans but a loss for Democrats.

In Steele's case, fundraising was a serious problem and that just might do him in even though the GOP did really well under his watch.  But let's not forget about that article where we learned about Kevin DeWine's whining to the RNC about needing more money.  I think if you take a look at where the base contributed this cycle, you will learn a lot about who the rank and file thinks is getting the job done right.  What that report does indicate is that Chairman Steele was not in a position to come through on promises made to the ORP.  What it means for the performance of ORP is yet to be determined.  Just to be clear: this isn't meant to be an attack on DeWine as I haven't looked at the numbers for ORP this cycle, but my gut tells me that the ORP didn't do as well in this area as they would have hoped. 

The fundamental problem that I have had with our friends in the Republican Party nationally and right here in Ohio is that I don't think it is enough to say that we won elections.  The real test is what the Republican Party does with those victories and candidate recruitment is a factor in the eventual results of governing.  If your view of politics is entrenched in looking at the scoreboard, then this cycle was an amazing success story.  But if you take the view, as I do, that how you play the game effects what how you perform the rest of the season then one game isn't enough to truly judge performance.  The Democrats were the Washington Generals this time out and if you think that the Republicans are the Harlem Globetrotters, then you just aren't paying attention.

Elections are both an ending and a beginning.  Our party establishment would have us believe that all they are responsible for is the results on Election Day, but the real truth is that the party structure can make or break us LONG before E-Day.  Ask any party official about something that went wrong and they will tell you that the candidate and/or their campaign was responsible for it.  Conversely, ask them about something that went well, and they will gladly take credit for it.  So it isn't the party's fault that Rich Iott lost because nobody in the party thought to ask about his hobby and whether or not there wee any photos out there that would embarrass not only the campaign but every Republican in the state.  And it isn't the RNC's problem that establishment hacks did more damage to Christine O'Connell in Delaware than the Democrats did.  But they will all wave a broom at the Victory Party...

So, yeah, if asked if I am in favor of a challenge to the chairmanship, you can just go ahead in put me in the "Likes it" column.