It’s been two weeks since the election, but you wouldn’t know it by the daily barrage of stories in the media of Republicans wallowing in their misery and trying to figure out how to fix their broken party.

Yes, the Republicans suffered a rather surprising defeat in the presidential election, but the Civil War that has been so heavily mentioned in the media within the party has largely been driven by the media would like nothing better than to see the party fight to the degree that they will be too weak to defend their turf in 2014.

Of course it hasn’t helped that several Republican leaders have bought into this notion and have run away from Mitt Romney and the Tea Party faster than you can say “boo,” but instead of banding together and putting up a united front, they have decided to play the blame game to the media’s delight.

There is no doubt that Romney should have won the election. But he was hobbled by a brutal primary campaign that gave the Democrats plenty of fodder for the general election.  The same could have been said had any of the other Republican candidates won the nomination as well, since the primary was more about beating each other up, than beating the president.

Romney was plagued by other problems as well, but when your party brings 2 million fewer voters to the polls than they did for John McCain, the problem is larger than the candidate.

And it wasn’t just the presidential race that was a problem.  The GOP lacks a credible system for vetting their Senate candidates and making sure they are media ready.  For two elections in a row, the Democrats were ready to give the Republicans majority control and twice the GOP ran unprepared candidates in key races and dug themselves a deeper hole.  They’ll have another chance in 2014, but they have to do a better job in selecting and preparing candidates were skewered by the media in 2010, and 2012.

The media has also been dancing prematurely on the grave of the Tea Party.  On the one hand the Tea Party suffered losses in key Senate and House races, but overall they still helped keep the Republicans in control of the House, and the incoming GOP freshmen are more conservative as a whole than those who lost their seats.  And the election did bring the party Ted Cruz in Texas who will be star for many years to come.

So to all those in the GOP who are whining and moaning about losing two weeks ago, stop it now, and start recruiting for 2014 and beyond and build a ground game.

And stop all the talk about how the party has to change.  If you can’t stick to your core principles, then get out!

The longer you complain the more the liberal media will divide you. And who needs four more years of the clowns at MSNBC whooping and hollering?

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The Republican presidential contest took yet another unexpected turn last night with Rick Santorum’s sweep of the Missouri primary and Minnesota and Colorado caucuses.  While Romney spent little time or money in these states compared to Florida and South Carolina, the results showed the continued weakness in the Romney campaign.

Since these contests were essentially beauty contests with no delegates being awarded, the losses still had to sting for Romney who is the front-runner that can’t seal the deal.

To be honest Romney wasn’t expected to really win Missouri or Minnesota with their strong Evangelical bases, but he was hoping to score a victory in Colorado, but was undone by the delegates lack of confidence in his conservatism.

In the grand scheme of things this is more of a PR hit for Romney than anything else, but it leaves open the question of why he can’t get Republican voters to coalesce behind his candidacy. On the other hand it also continues to keep both Santorum and Gingrich in the race as we head to Super Tuesday on March 6 and what will probably be the make or break time for the GOP.

Even if Romney wins a majority of the delegates next month, it is also likely that Gingrich and Santorum to a lesser degree will come away with enough delegates to remain a threat to Romney’s chances of winning the nomination outright.

Romney may be a successful businessman, but he has failed to translate that success into the teflon candidate he needs to be.  Unforced errors have provided plenty of ammunition for not just his Republican competition, but also the Democrats.

Will a long drawn out campaign hurt the GOP?  Not necessarily as the nominee should emerge as a more battle-hardened candidate and be better able to go toe-to-toe with Obama in the fall.  At the same time the nastier the battle gets, the higher the likelihood that the Republican nominee will emerge so bloodied and bruised that he won’t have the ability to compete against what no doubt will be a very powerful Democratic machine that will go all out to keep Obama in the White House.

The GOP’s biggest problem right now though is a slowly recovering economy that is giving Obama a boost as consumer confidence grows that things have actually turned around.

We may still have unemployment above 8% and growth of less than 2%, but voters cast their ballots on perception rather than reality and if the perception is that things are turning around, the Obama will gain the upper hand in November.

Four years ago Romney was the anti-McCain and benefited greatly from that position even if he didn’t win the nomination.  Now he he is the John McCain of 2012 and conservatives just can’t bring themselves to support someone who has a very moderate record as a politician, no matter if he is espousing a more conservative view today.

Like McCain who beat off the Romney challenge four years ago, Romney should be able to fend off Gingrich and Santorum  as his money and organization should carry the day though the road ahead will be bumpy for at least the next four weeks.

 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stood squarely on President Obama’s side on Wednesday when she told the press that the president had listened over and over to the Republicans on the debt ceiling and that he knows the facts and nobody can out debate him.

Is she talking about the same president who said this the other day?:

“If we think it’s hard now, imagine how these guys are going to be thinking six months from now in the middle of election season, when they’re all up.  It’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder. So we might as well do it now; pull off the Band-Aid, eat our peas.”

Sounds a lot like when my parents used to tell me to eat my vegetables when I was a child.  That’s very presidential.

As for Pelosi’s statement that Obama listened to the GOP. He listened all right,  until the point he didn’t like what was being said and then walked out on negotiations.

Waaaah!

The same forces of moderation within the Maryland Republican Party that brought us a humiliating defeast in the governor’s race in November tried and failed to continue that legacy on Saturday with the defeat of Mary Kane in her attempt to become the next GOP state chairman.

Kane was soundly defeated by former state Senator Alex Mooney who narrowly lost his reelection bid last month after 12 years in office.

Mooney whose candidacy was pushed by the conservatives within the party took a commanding lead on the first ballot and after the three lowest vote total candiadates dropped out won handily on the second ballot. 

As a first time delegate I knew Kane was in trouble when half of my county (Montgomery) which is home to Kane went for Mooney. 

The election of Mooney is a big win for conservatives who have felt that it was time to move on from the Ehrlich machine and get a fresh start for the 2012 and 2014 elections.  For Kane it kept her streak of having never won an election intact and may signal the demise of moderates at the state level.

One person who didn’ take Kane’s loss graciously was her husband John the former state party chairman under Gov. Ehrlich who told the Washington Post that the decision was “unfortunate” and a “step back to an uncompromising and uninviting environment that clearly didn’t work in the past and won’t work in the future.”

This is as opposed to the squishy middle that is willing to compromise with the liberals that control the state and sacrifice principle just to get ahead politically.

Mooney won’t have much time to rest on his laurels as a conservative state Senator that rattled the cages of the liberals for years making him a top target in every election since 1998 as he will need to find good candidates to run for Congress and Senate for 2012 and plan for statewide elections in 2014.

While the Republicans made some real gains in the eastern and western portions of the state the hard core liberal areas  still remain a serious stumbling block in the GOP’s efforts to put some balance into the state legislature.  If Mooney can make some progress in these areas he will set the party up for a much needed resurgence and mollify the moderates who eye him with suspicion.

South Carolina’s Republican governer Mark Sanford late yesterday solved the mystery of his wherabouts for the last several days by admitting at a press conference that he had been in Argentina visiting his mistress.

Sanford whose five-day absence sparked rumors of his mental state among other things will go down as having performed one of the most bizarre cloak and dagger operations of an elected public official in recent memory by completely disappearing off the grid and leaving his staff and family to try and explain his behavior.

The governor’s admission of an affair comes on the heels of last weeks admission by Sen. John Ensign of Nevada of a similar indiscretion and will surely end his political career even if he remains in office for the rest of his term.

Voters can be somewhat forgiving of personal indiscretion but couple that with the mystery trip out of the country and Sanford can kiss any future political ambitions goodbye.

The real problem though is Repblicans like Ensign and Sanford have portrayed themselves as moral politicians  and then they turn around and violate their marriage covenenants and betray the public trust.  For Sanford it was even worse as he is the chief executive of a state and left the country without turning over power to anyone in case of emergency.

Even though I have never been a big fan of Sanford I thought he was a smart guy.  I was obviously wrong as he badly bungled his attempt to cover up his affair even with the vast resources at his disposal.

The GOP was already acting like the walking wounded after bruising election defeats in 2006 and 2008 and the actions of potential standard bearers like Ensign and Sanford only dig a deeper hole for the party.

President Obama was said to have removed one potential rival in former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman when he posted him to China as the ambassador, but it seems that all this jockeying is unnecessary as the Republicans can implode just fine on their own leaving them with a very thin field in 2012.

At this time Sanford has no intention of resigning which means his ego is still intact, but every day that he continues to serve will only hurt the Republicans and conservatives and give the Democrats a larger target to shoot for in 2010.

Republican Party Chairman Mike Duncan who is facing some stiff opposition next month to retain his job criticized oneof his rivals today for his choice of a Christmas gift to friends and supporters.

Chip Saltsman, the former Tennessee State Party Chair and aide to Mike Huckabee during the 2008 presidential campaign sent out  a cd from fellow Tennessean Paul Shanklin containing a song called “Barack the Magic Negro” which is a parody of the Peter, Paul and Mary hit “Puff the Magic Dragon”  that has been aired on the Rush Limbaugh program.

Duncan for his part seems to be doing the liberal media’s bidding with his criticism as the party struggles to define itself after back to back election cycle beatings.

Shanklin who is the main provider of parodies to the Limbaugh program has been producing albums taking shots at Democrats since the Clinton years and has performed several parodies about Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan so while the media thinks he might be insensitive he really is just being politically incorrect at most since he won’t avoid poking fun of liberal just because they are black for the fear of being labeled a racist.

Even Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State who is running against Saltsman thinks the whole thing has been blown out of proportion and thinks the press is hypersensitive since Obama is going to be the first black president.

There hasn’t been any comment from the Obama camp and since the song has been played on the radio for months this isn’t exactly a fresh attack on him so they would be better off just letting it go.  Especially since it looks like the GOP will do enough damage on its own to fan charges of racism where none exists.

If this is the best Duncan can do, then maybe he needs to go.  This should never have been an issue in the first place and he has done more damage to the party by bringing this issue up.  Couple that with his so called leadership during the 2008 election and you can predict what will happen in 2010 if he is still around.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) who was forced into an unexpected runoff soundly defeated his Democratic opponent Jim Martin by winning an estimated 59% of the votes yesterday.

Thus ends the hopes of teh Democrats to form a filibuster proof majority in the next Senate, and at the same time underscores the effect Barack Obama had on the race in November.

Last month voter turnout was 68% of registered voters compared to about 20% yesterday.

Even with the possibility of gaining enough seats to fend off the Republicans next year in the Senate, Obama decided not to make  visit to the state to stump for Martin electing to record a radio ad and an automated phone message for the Democratic candidate.

The results were far worse than the Democrats had predicted and exposed the fact that Martin was a very weak candidate who never should have made it this far in the political process.  It was as if the voters finally woke up and said they needed to right the wrong that was perpetrated on them on November 4 and that giving the Democrats a super majority would be a disaster.

The GOP hasn’t had much to smile about lately and they deserve a chance to savor this solid victory, but the work is far from done and this is just one election and with just 41 Senators left on the R side they have their work cut out for them.