Former House Minority Leader Bob Michel says Illinois Republicans have to "stir things up" and rebuild what he calls a weak party. The Republican made his remarks Thursday at the Republican Convention in St.Paul
Michel says the Illinois GOP has become weak because of what he called former George Ryan's misdeeds. Michel retired in 1994 after serving 19 terms in Congress, serving as Republican House Leader for his last 14 years.
Michel is urging party members to "face up to reality" and to go back home and shake things up."
I quote Dick Armey 11/09, WSJ, when he writes of the many failures of the Republican-led Congress. Armey calls for a positive national vision and gives advice for future Republican candidates for office: "Offer good policy....for lower taxes, less government and more freedom" as a recipe for success." (Good policy is the key statement here).
Irvin Schonfeld, City University professor, offers two major causes of public dissatisfaction with the Republican dominated government as the poor prosecution of the war in Iraq and federal incompetence of the handling of Katrina. Citizens want better leadership, more collaboration and more competence in handling serious situations. (More collaboration) are the key words.
"Republicans Falter in Outreach to Blacks, Hispanics" reads an article by Jonathan Kaufman, 9/05/08 in the WSJ. "Blacks are scarce here, (At the Republican National Convention)just 36, the lowest portion in 40 years. "It's embarrassing," said Michael Steele, a Republican who is the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and is African-American. "It's a failure in strategy and a failure in communication. The party wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. Failure to address inner-city poverty and crime and a failure to recruit and develop strong black candidates."
"Our party is in a funk with Latino voters" said Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, who is Cuban-American. "We dug ourselves into a bit of a ditch on immigration."
"I haven't heard from the party of Abraham Lincoln about urban economic issues, unemployment and housing, the state of African-American marriage, we seem to be silent about those issues". said Jack Kemp, a former VP candidate with a record of reaching out to black voters.
In the latest WSJ/NBC News poll, less than 3% of black voters said they would vote for John McCain. (9/5/08)
For years, i have preached, written blogs, letters to the editors that while being a fiscal conservative, we must spend money for our our priorities--school choice, health-care portability,workforce training, affordable housing, crime, child-care and long term health insurance. And stop kow-towing to the far right in our party. Stop trying to placate a restless society with "circuses and games".
In an article by E.J. Dionne on 11/29/06 in the JS, "GOP revival at center, not fringes". Dionne talks about Re publican's spewing boilerplate such as smaller government and a more accountable federal government. Sound great. Did the Republicans practice what they preached? Not hardly.
To this day, the Republicans have not gotten their priorities straight and let the Democrats steal front stage to either drive the moderates out of the voting booth or into the arms of the Democrats or both. Dionne, yes I know he would be tagged a liberal but so would I on certain issues, says "The flight from a solution-oriented politics designed to deal with the pressures on working-class and middle class families had the final effect of driving many of the one-time Reagen Democrats, the "security moms" and disaffected men over to the Democrats." He suggest some Republicans might want to study the policy playbook of a politician who liked to condemn the "brain-dead politics of both parties." His name is Bill Clinton.
All Republican leaders should read the article "The Party's Over" by Alan Brinley in last weeks WSJ Weekender. "Party loyalty, in short, is no longer a strong factor in the decisions of voters and with its decline has come a less stable and less predictable landscape."
It is my studied opinion that both the Republican and Democrat parties are no longer "effective" parties that this country must have to prevent it from slipping into anarchic factionalism that the authors of the Federalist Papers warned against in the 1780's. "The friend of popular governments", James Madison wrote in Federalist #10, "never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates... the instability, injustice, and confusion (that factions) introduced into the public councils...the mortal diseases under which governments everywhere have perished."
Quoting from this article "The post-partisan character of our politics is not only a reason for the difficulty in predicting electoral outcomes. It is also one of the reasons our government has worked so poorly and lost the confidence of so many Americans. Leaders who get elected without strong parties behind them them often find themselves without the allies they need to achieve the goals they have embraced. But going it alone has increasingly become the norm in our fractious, unpredictable political world.
This election reflects the great disillusionment Americans feel about many of the policies of recent years.
Even though I disagree with a number of McCain and Palin's beliefs and actions, this Republican combination, once elected and with our help, can slow down this countries slide into populism and socialism. The Republicans, independents and many border line Democrats must be convinced to lay aside their own personal slights, jealousies, disappointments and "large" egos, tone down the "Faustian bargain made with Dobson and his ilk (See Dobson's choice, 2/9/08)embracing most of the fundamentals on which this great country was founded and elect McCain/Palin to office.
As Peggy Noonan stated in the 10/29/7 issue of the WSJ, "No president is going to come along and save us and Congress isn't going to save us. Events will cause a reckoning, and then we will save ourselves. And in this we will find our greatness."
I think we are all? patriots. But even patriotic politicians and "do gooders" can kill us.
As Douglas M. Parker, a senior lawyer in the Nixon and Ford administration said recently, "To speak a truth that is generally heard in whispers, many moderate conservatives do not favor overturning Roe vs. Wade."
I suggest Republicans read my blog dated 2/7/08 titled "Aaron Schock - An Open Letter". I am not too far off target as to why many Republicans "go it alone" and most lose. They are disillusioned with their own base. I didn't lose because the community knew me for who I was despite my being "crucified" by the Journal Star. The at first skeptical Democrats "saw I reached across the aisle" when they twice helped elect me as Vice-Chairman of the Peoria County Board where Democrats dominate the county board. It is again my studied opinion that Peoria County Board is the most effective political board in the area.
Accepting what each of us has to offer and melding these offerings into a working group of collaborating entities can yet snatch us from the jaws of disaster.