Republicans need to get over the blame game of who is responsible for losing to Barack Obama AGAIN. The simple fact is that the GOP snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by dumping Party Chairman Michael Steele in 2011, right after he managed the spectacularly successful 2010 mid-term elections. Steele’s funding of a community organizing strategy to strengthen local party offices in every county in the nation resulted in a ground swell of disdain against Obama as an elitist socialist. The abandonment of community organizing by Steele’s successors cost Mitt Romney the Presidency by failing to turn out Republican leaning voters.
Despite the current screeching about voter demographics, Americans have a negative view of socialism by a two to one margin. But their traditional image of the socialist community organizer is an angry and threatening protestor with scraggly haired. The brilliance of Barack Obama was to disguise his radical agenda under the alluring image of the metrosexual. Mark Simpson in Salon Magazine described the metrosexual as:
“The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis — because that’s where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are. He might be officially gay, straight or bisexual, but this is utterly immaterial because he has clearly taken himself as his own love object and pleasure as his sexual preference.”
Barack Obama’s playbook to take power in 2008 was Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Lacking Hillary Clinton’s mega-bucks in the Democratic Primary, he overwhelmed her with a social media inspired national movement following Rule 1:
“Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.”
In the Presidential election, Obama contrast his image as an elegant, sophisticated and youthful leader, versus John McCain as a rumpled, bumbling old white guy. When the financial crisis hit, Obama employed Rule 3 to ridicule McCain as incompetent:
“Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.”
Without a national ground game to offset Obama’s community organizing voter turnout, bewildered Republicans wasted their cash on TV ads in a few battleground states.
After the Democrats swept control of the Presidency, Senate and House in 2008, the Republicans were finally desperate enough to self-reflect why their brand was less attractive to women, minorities and young people who make up 70% of voters. With the main-stream-media proclaiming the terminal decline of the party, Michael Steele was elected the first black Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2009.
Steele, a self-described “Lincoln Republican”, understood the Republican’s election disaster was not due to rejection of their key principals of supporting personal responsibility and smaller government, but rather in failing to support a national community organizing effort between election cycles. He poured cash and training resources into every county in every state. He was especially supportive of party building in big states like California where Republicans were usually not competitive.
Steele’s community organizing strategy was inclusive of the burgeoning Tea Party conservatives and young urban moderates. Over the next 22 months the Republican National Committee also broke fundraising records by raising $198 million for the 2010 Congressional cycle. The revitalized Republican ground game blitzkrieged the Democrats to capture six new Senate seats and take control of the House of Representatives with 63 new seats, the biggest pickup since 1938. The Party also gained 12 governorships and over 600 in state legislatures seats, the most since 1928.
Two months later, Michael Steele was rewarded for his epic performance by being fired as Chairman and the gavel handed over to the diminutive and pasty-face RNC Treasurer, Reince Priebus. With the Republican Party’s old guard was back in power, they rejected community organizing and let their ground game just wither away.
Mitt Romney was a highly qualified candidate who ran a great campaign. But he lost by 3 million votes because the Republican National Committee ignored the lessons of 2008 and 2010. The Democrats continuous community organizing strategy generated 300,000 more black and 1.7 million more Hispanic voters in 2012 versus 2008. Republicans’ strategy of spending all their cash on television commercials in the nine battleground states resulted in 6.7 million less whites voting in 20012 versus 2008. For a second time in a row, community organizing defeated the Republicans.
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