The election post mortems have been steadily streaming in since November 2012. As we look to next year’s midterms, Republicans retain a significant amount of bitterness over the defeats digested in the last 12 months. The Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, and the election defeat of Mitt Romney are not left in the past, instead, they have become the fuel for the rancor that emanates from the rank and file of our Party.
With the midterm elections 17 months away, Republicans must pivot and use this opportunity to demonstrate to voters what we represent. As we have said in this blog many times before, Republicans have to show voters what the Party is FOR.
There is no doubt plenty of failure within the Obama Administration as a whole. However, as pointed out in this NY Times Piece, attacking the President is likely a losing strategy. Attack campaigns do very little to motivate key critical swing voter targets which makes all the difference in most swing districts. Former Senator Olympia Snowe sums it up nicely in the article saying, “If you can’t make that important pivot to what Republicans stand for and how they’ve gotten the message, I think there will be even more damage to the Republican Party.”
The platform continues to be defined by what Republicans oppose, not what they support. We truly have become the party of no, if you say yes, then it’s likely you’re a RINO or a traitor.
During the Spanish-American War, the men under Teddy Roosevelt’s command were reticent to commence the battle for San Juan Hill. They wanted to wait for more men, more guns, and more supplies. Roosevelt wouldn’t take no for an answer. Instead he replied, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
GOP campaigns this cycle should focus 75% of the time on what we are for and what they can get done. We have seen that leading is more about providing answers rather than just critiques.
The next 17 months are the perfect opportunity for Republicans to do what they can, with what they have, where they are. When the American voters see this, they’re likely to follow suit. Otherwise, the GOP can be relegated to the minority party for the foreseeable future.