The Republican Path to Nowhere
With the GOP in the process of ripping itself apart, Republican strategist Mike Murphy sounds the alarm.
“The party is acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary. That is a very dangerous way to operate. We have massive image problems with the greater electorate, and the silly antics of the purist wing are making our dire problems even worse.”
Republicans are currently battling civil wars and/or debating issues as diverse as immigration, defunding the Affordable Care Act, women’s health, shutting down the government, setting up primary challenges for a number of not-conservative-enough members of congress (Mitch McConnell, Lamar Alexander and Lindsey Graham to name but three) and which networks will be allowed to host a Republican primary debate.
All in all, it’s an unholy mess and there are no visible signs that it’s going to change any time soon. Chad Brown of Iowa, co-chairman of the Polk County Republican Party, says it all in his letter of resignation.
Dear Polk GOP Executive Committee Member,
I am writing to inform you that I changed my voter registration to Independent today – severing all ties to the Republican Party. Having been a Republican all my life, I did not take this decision lightly.
Having spoken with a pastor and having prayed about this for hours, I came to the conclusion that this is my only recourse. I’m disappointed with the Republican Party at the National level. I’m disappointed with the Republican Party at the Statewide level. I’m disappointed with the Republican Party at the Countywide level. I find it increasingly difficult to defend issues and statements made by Party leaders and officials from all three levels.
I decided to get back in this arena following the “contentious” 2012 Polk County GOP Convention. I was upset by what happened at the conventions, and I entered into the arena with the intent to help fix the problems. However, I think this level of dysfunction is not going to be fixed any time soon.
I donated time and financial resources to the Polk GOP and haven’t had a good return on my investment. In the 2000 Presidential Election, the Polk GOP lost Polk County by about 16,000 votes. In fall of 2000, the Polk GOP had no headquarters. The Polk GOP had no paid staff. The Polk GOP didn’t even have a working telephone number. Fundraising was minimal.
In 2012, the Polk GOP lost Polk County by over 32,000 votes. Until 2002, Republicans were elected to the State House from Des Moines. In 2012, Republicans lost 2 State House seats in suburban, Republican-leaning districts and came two dozen votes from losing a third. Facts are stubborn things. I think we are now headed in the wrong direction on several fronts and regretfully must step aside.
It’s my opinion that rather than fix the problems that led to such a massive 2012 defeat, the GOP does not seem to seriously want to fix the issues. I think helping a dysfunctional Party that does not want to address its problems is enabling. I do not believe in enabling. I debated this for weeks and am certain this is the only course.
I wish you the best of luck,
To all the kids out there, let this be a warning to what what two decades of a downward slide into insanity led in part by Fox News and hate radio, followed by the creation of the Tea Party (thank you, Koch brothers) will do to a political party.
The source photograph is a Creative Commons licensed image from the Flickr page of Todd Hall.