To my fellow Republicans: Winning is better than losing.

Winning is better than losing. This is true in sports, a friendly game of Hearts, and most certainly in politics. Some political losses set you up for the future (i.e. Ronald Reagan in 1976), but as a rule, it’s better to win than to lose. When you win you have the opportunity to implement the plans you’ve concocted, to set the agenda, and to drive the narrative. When you lose, well, you get the idea.

Last night Ken Cuccinelli narrowly lost to Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia Governor’s race. Cuccinelli was down by as many as 17 points in one poll and double-digits in most polls just two weeks ago. There’s a certain satisfaction some may take in the fact he came so close. To be sure, there are things both good and bad Republicans can take out of Cuccinelli’s loss. The flawed rollout of the ACA, and the number of people losing health insurance coverage as a result of the new law became a big issue and helped Cuccinelli immensely (Democrats should be worried about that). The various controversies swirling around “The Macker” played a role as well, but Cuccinelli’s inability to steal more votes the flawed psuedo-Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis became a huge problem for him in a tight race. The postmortems on this race began before the polls opened and this morning the finger pointing on the Right has intensified to a level I’ve never witnessed. This “off with their heads” mentality is something I find troubling.

I’m worried about the future of the Republican Party. If we don’t remember that in order to win we need more people voting with us than less, we’re in serious trouble heading into 2014. The answer to our problems is not to drive out one or another faction but to bring the factions together around strong leadership. Yet this morning, I hear renewed cries of “defund the GOP” and “the TEA Party is destroying us” and “we’ve got to get rid of those crazy religious fanatics.” All of those statements ignore the simple truth than winning is better than losing.

– For those who want to “defund the GOP” I’ll counter with the fact that the Republican Governor’s Association and the Republican National Committee spent a combined $11 million in support of Ken Cuccinelli. Perhaps they should have spent more or spent the money differently, but if those “establishment” organizations were defunded that money would not have been there for the TEA Party favorite.

– For those who say “the TEA Party is destroying us” I’ll remind you that many polls suggest as much as 40% of Republicans nationally call themselves TEA Party supporters. Tell me how a Republican wins anything without the TEA Party at least tacitly on our side.

– For those who say “we’ve got to get rid of those crazy religious fanatics” I’ll point out that Chris Christie won a smashing victory, in New Jersey of all places, yet holds some views the New York Times finds shocking:

The governor prevailed despite holding positions contrary to those of many New Jersey voters on several key issues, including same-sex marriage, abortion rights and the minimum wage, and despite an economic recovery that has trailed the rest of the country.

– I’ll also remind my friends on the Right that Christie, the so-called RINO, has been a pretty darn conservative Governor in a traditionally blue state.

The point is we all need each other in order to win. That’s true in New Jersey, Virginia, and yes, even here in red state Georgia. If we send any part of our coalition packing, victory becomes much harder to achieve. I’m not saying there should be no primary challenges to incumbents, nor am I saying we shouldn’t be careful about nominating another “Todd Akin,” those two things must be considered. Vigorous debate about who should lead and what issues we should put forward is always important. But those of us who want smaller, less intrusive government must work together and remember that a 70% friend is not a 30% enemy – and that winning is better than losing.

137 comments

  1. Harry says:

    Hillary wins in 2016 – and there’s nothing we can do to stop it barring some really unknown event. Not only have the demographics shifted dramatically, but also if Christie gets the GOP nomination many of us conservatives just stay home on election day, and if Cruz gets it many of the RINOs will stay home. Just the facts, get prepared for Hillary.

    On a more positive note, the elections in New York City and Virginia open up some real development opportunities for states like Georgia.

    • drjay says:

      well maybe you “conservatives” should not be whiny babies and go vote for christie if he is the gop’s man, same with the the “moderates” if it’s cruz…it’s like no one understands coalition building anymore…

      • Harry says:

        Not gonna happen. Christie is part and parcel of the Northeast Establishment. For many of us he’s short of the 70-30 paradigm.

        • drjay says:

          why exactly? i really don’t get all the animosity toward christie, from what i know of his record he seems to actually accomplish conservative things in the course of his governance…

          • xdog says:

            Christie is a pragmatist who believes in the principles of governance, which puts him at odds with those who equate compromise with betrayal and common ground with appeasement.

          • Harry says:

            If you like that style of window dressing so go ahead and vote for Christie. I’d rather see Hillary as president and continue work on developing the GOP message for the future.

              • Harry says:

                I’d rather you address my points. Christie represents a status quo, no change position. This country is rapidly becoming third-world and Christie will only represent the vested special interests, and do nothing to reform the system. If we’re going to lose anyway I’d prefer to get the Cruz leadership. Maybe the more establishment wing should take a look at Cruz instead of Christie, that is if they really want to improve the situation.

            • drjay says:

              i am quite undecided on 2016 at this point–but you have again failed to mention a policy or action that you object to (refusing to snub the president in the days after a natural disaster doesn’t count…)

              • Harry says:

                1) Forget Obama. Christie snubbed Romney, just because Romney didn’t select him as VP.
                2) He’s a New Jersey politician.

                • drjay says:

                  ok, so you don’t actually have any reasons that have anything to do with his accomplishments or policies or beliefs…that’s certainly your prerogative…

                  • Harry says:

                    What policies and actions of Ted Cruz do you object to? Do you not see the difference between Cruz and Christie?

                    • drjay says:

                      i never said i did object to cruz, i generally like him–i don’t consider them to be opposites of one another…having said that i thought the shut down that he was one of the spearheads for was foolhardy and accomplished less than nothing and obscured the failure of the rollout of the website by stealing headlines, i understand the rational for it, but strategically i think it didn’t work out…

                    • Harry says:

                      That’s certainly your prerogative to think that way….I disagree. Obamacare will not be successful, and Cruz was correct to make it very clear that he is in opposition and will do everything to oppose it.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        You glossed over an important point that Harry made. There were as many GOP lites who stayed home in Virginia who were pissed that a Tea Partier had won the nomination as there would have been Tea Partiers pissed off had a Chris Christie-type had won the nomination.

        Point being: The GOP has a problem that the democrats largely don’t. While the Democrats are largely united in that everyone comes to the table to get free stuff so it doesn’t much matter who the nominee is, the GOP has been divided since the 2008 bailouts, when the Tea Party said enough was enough.

        If the GOP actually knew what it stood for anymore, and were actually able to match the candidates with the beliefs, we might see some coalitions.

        • bgsmallz says:

          That’s not the point…the point is not that there is division…a three year old knows that…the point is that only in some fantasy land is the GOP better off staying divided, losing, and at home ‘working on its message.’ The sheer fact that there are some that are denying this is baffling.

      • Rick Day says:

        Yeah it’s not like I WANTED to vote for Obama, those were just the only sane choices at the time. And I’d be more likely to vote for Christie than The Hill™

        • Harry says:

          Sorry I had a couple of socially liberal associates say they’d be more inclined to vote for McCain or Romney over Obama – but ended up voting for Obama.

  2. Imagine teammates in the huddle disagreeing about the play to be called. How about military forces who have several different strategies for accomplishing the mission? The team wants to win. The military wants to win. And neither conducts themselves in ways that bring to their opponent’s attention the weaknesses of some team members or some segment of the military force that is battling the opponent. To do so undermines the mission of . . . winning. A spouse might as well bad-mouth his or her partner in marriage publicly thinking there is some benefit (none) and then returning home to work out the marital problem. Issues with a teammate, co-worker, spouse or others in the same political space? Deal with them privately or push past the differences to find the common ground and the common goal. Then put the energy and resources into . . . well said, Charlie, winning!

  3. Joshua Morris says:

    Winning what? Winning elections, or winning battles on principle? Our problem as Republicans is not the TEA Party or our internal squabbling. Our problem is that our party is seen as disingenuous to the electorate. We claim conservative principles, but our elected officials don’t govern by them or live by them. If they can’t demonstrate why and how our claimed principles work, then they don’t deserve to govern.

    The root problem, in my view, is that money and influence have taken huge precedence over any core principle (in either major party). Someone has got to stand up with the intestinal fortitude of Reagan, or Kennedy, or Lincoln, and show that the American People can take care of themselves and that they don’t need an overbearing government herding them toward any particular outcomes. We need our Party to stand up and show that greed and corruption inside government agencies is just as big a problem, if not bigger, than any corporate greed. We need to show that government takes care of itself before it does anything for the poor that we continually hear about. We need to show how private entities can do many things well with fewer resources and how our government fails those it claims to serve while freely wasting resources.

    The People want a strong message that delineates us, but right now, the two parties look awfully similar to one another in most voters’ eyes. Boehner and McConnell aren’t going to change that–nor is Chris Christie.

    I know Reagan’s legacy is brought up far too often by far too many people who have no connection to it at all. However, he was the last great conservative who could articulate the message, explain how it works, and promote it in a positive, likeable way. Republicans need more people like him who will first study and understand the true core of our principles, and then set about showing why and how they deliver opportunity and freedom to EVERYONE. Reagan didn’t live by popularity polls–he led this country into a new era by proving that we could do what we thought we couldn’t.

    The Republican Party will win when it stands up for its principles.

    • benevolus says:

      So what does “stand up for it’s principles” actually mean? Does it mean never compromise?

      “right now, the two parties look awfully similar to one another in most voters’ eyes.” If that is the case, I would say that may be a good thing. Perhaps it means that we are actually gravitating towards agreement on how to govern. Wouldn’t that be great? Is it really necessary to be different just to be different?

      • Joshua Morris says:

        So as we ‘gravitat[e] towards agreement on how to govern,’ our economy languishes in the toilet. Great? No.

        We are being governed based on each latest complaint that happens to be in front of our elected officials’ collective nose and on bad ideas for fixing what is considered ‘wrong’. No historical perspective. No consideration for what has worked in successful societies throughout history. No understanding of the benefits of human freedom and its accompanying responsibility. When compromise means more of this, it is not a good thing.

        • Harry says:

          “Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.” – John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams, 1777

        • benevolus says:

          Our economy is languishing because we are no longer competing with Germany and Japan, but with China and India and Mexico. Our standard of living is undergoing an adjustment to reflect that fact, and unless you want to be like North Korea no president or party can change that.

          As far as “successful societies”, I think we’ve been through this and if I recall, you don’t actually have any examples. It’s a theory.

          • Harry says:

            Yes, a president or party can change that, or at least make a better future, if they have the will to overcome a huge constituency of takers and promote policies to get America back to a responsibility society.

            • IndyInjun says:

              To late Harry, every American has at least one entitlement and most have 3 or more. You cannot even get into an honest discussion with anybody on this point.

              If you are a Georgia BANKER, you have several MORE that the great unwashed dying middle class never dreamed of possessing.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        That’s all fine and good until both parties agree that you have no protection from 4th Amendment violations made by the NSA. Or when both parties agree that it’s necessary to bailout mega-banks while people lose their homes. Or when both parties agree that the purpose of the U.S. military is to spread democracy via gun barrel to countries that neither understand nor want it.

        They’re about to agree to govern the %#@T out of you, and you’re apparently enjoying it.

        • benevolus says:

          Well none of that has anything to do with the level of agreement, of course. Dissent can from from many places and even if there were dissent from a minority party it wouldn’t really matter much would it… until the next election. Then we have the chance to elect new people, who still may all agree -to something different.

    • caroline says:

      FWIW the GOP makes zero sense. You can’t preach less government and then have a government mandate on probes. You can’t preach against less government and then say the government should regulate who you marry. Those are just two examples. I’m sure there are many more. If you are going to worship at the church of “less government” you are going to have to practice “less government” for “everybody” not just who you think is “worthy” or “deserving” of less government.

        • caroline says:

          So you’re saying that the government getting out of the marriage business is going to create more government or the government getting out of the marriage business is a “secret” agenda to create more government? Do you see about how much sense that makes?

          • Harry says:

            Do you see the amount of bureaucracy the homosexual lobby is creating? Right now in congress they are trying to get anti-employment discrimination legislation passed.

            • Rick Day says:

              Please send me a link to the “homosexual lobby” because I challenge it’s existence.

              “Hidee hoe, I’m from the homo lobby here to talk to you about those gawd-awful curtains!”

              *reu*

              the hom-o-sex-ual lobby…

            • caroline says:

              So having laws against discriminating against women, African Americans or any other group of Americans would be too “cumbersome”?

              All this kind of thing does is give people the right to legal redress which FYI it’s pretty hard to prove in court that you’ve been discriminated against.

              • Harry says:

                Yeah, that’s the rationale they put forward for more government. And with each “advance” there’s a loss of personal freedom.

                • caroline says:

                  You see this makes zero sense. If someone else gets the ability to not be discriminated against you think it’s taking something from you? What did African Americans take from you by ending Jim Crow? The ability to pay a maid nothing or what?

                  So you want to hire somebody not based on their ability to do the job but to hire them based on their skin color or sexual orientation? If somebody takes away your ability to deny someone a job because of something non job related that is an infringement on you? Or you think if you find out one of your employees is gay that you should be able to fire them for that reason alone? I mean that’s basically what you are saying.

                  Well, I disagree with that. You should hire people based on job qualifications instead of what they do in their private life.

                  • Harry says:

                    And to accomplish that ethereal solution you would impose another layer of top-down bureaucracy and take away my freedom to avoid contact with a lifestyle that I personally find repugnant.

                    • caroline says:

                      Okay. So you should not have to be around people you find “repugnant”. Frankly I find that happens a lot of the time at work even with straight people. It’s called dealing with people. You learn to handle that situation like you handle others. I just don’t see the big deal.

                    • benevolus says:

                      What are you afraid of? Often an irrational hatred of something is a way to avoid facing an uncomfortable truth.

      • Joshua Morris says:

        John, your item #1 is duplicitous. If you look at Reagan’s record as a whole, he drastically cut income taxes. I’ll never say Reagan was perfect, but he had a stellar record in hindsight.

        I do believe he could win the primary today. He sold his plan with confidence and a positive outlook. He didn’t get bogged down in the ugliness. His confidence was contagious, and that moved people.

        • Baker says:

          @Joshua Morris: “He sold his plan with confidence and a positive outlook. He didn’t get bogged down in the ugliness. His confidence was contagious, and that moved people.”

          So you’re a Christie guy?! Nice.

      • Michael Silver says:

        Don’t forget he was a huge gun-banner. He pushed for a law that banned the carrying of loaded firearms in California when he was governor.

    • bgsmallz says:

      Standing is useless. Your principles without results are useless.

      It can’t just be about ‘We’re right and we aren’t going to compromise because we’re right.’ It has to be about finding a way to produce results. We can produce results if we aren’t scared to actually engage. Just look at transportation or even healthcre…there are 1,000 ways to attack these problems. There are real, conservative principles that can be applied to funding, privatization, project selection, local and regional control, market principles, etc. and could produce results. Real results to say…”LOOK, these work!!!!” All it requires is not being afraid of failing the purity test…not being content sitting around working on our ‘message’ and waiting for others to fail hard enough that we are the only option left.

      Reagan knew that he had to show that conservative principles applied to the issues of the day would work. He compromised often so that he could show the fruits of his principles applied. He didn’t stand. Quite the contrary.

        • seenbetrdayz says:

          Okay so when Bush was in office and the GOP controlled Congress, they had won an election and the result was . . . Obama being handed the 2008 election on a silver platter. That was about the most productive thing we gleaned from Bush’s legacy.

          See, when you put people in office who don’t actually stand for anything, you might as well remain out of office.

          However, when you’re out of office and you can’t actually win anything, you might as well stand for something. It may be all you have.

  4. Napoleon says:

    We seem to want our candidates to represent ideals when, to get into a position to be a candidate for higher office, they usually must first have represented PEOPLE. What makes Christi a “RINO?” Because he doesn’t check off all 25 points on your 25 point chart of which ideals a Republican must have?

    Chris Christi has been elected to represent the people of NJ, who don’t all necessarily believe all the same ideals people in Georgia believe. He is a NJ Republican. He reflects the beliefs, hopes, prejudices, personalities, and culture of his state. That does not make him a RINO.

    The next President will likely have to appoint a replacement for Scalia on the Supreme Court. Want it to be Christi or Clinton? The next President will have to appoint new Secretaries of the various Cabinet positions. Do you want Christi who will appoint GOP Governors and Senators, people like Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker and Nikki Haley, or Clinton who will appoint Democrat Senators and Governors? Can you imagine Chuck Schumer as Attorney General? Or Terry McAuliffe as Treasury Secretary?

    The issue is not the best seat at the table, but even being in the dining room. A Republican President, no matter how moderate or conservative, gives the GOP a seat at the table. A Democrat, no matter how liberal or moderate does not. With a Democrat, we’re not even in the same room the dinner is being served in.

    If we reject our nominee because of any purity test, on either the right or the left, then just like the people who voted for the Democrat, we deserve the government we get.

      • Baker says:

        Man Harry you’re really missing it. Apparently you’re satisfied with permanent minority status. How you can possibly believe that Christie would be no better than Hillary is, pardon me for this, stupid. That’s all there is to it.

          • Ellynn says:

            Why would a Republican who has a statewide base that has a higher then average percentage of women, has a good Laitino following (AKA Catholic values voting families), and one of the largest black followings in the country (for a member of the GOP) – run the risk of campaigning for a man who has annoyed all three of these voter groups and mess up his own race?

            • Harry says:

              Christie’s method of outreach is pandering or compromising on what I consider to be core GOP principles.

              • Rick Day says:

                Then sir, I suggest it is your principles that are flawed as they are unrealistic in a society oh human beings.

                We can’t live to the expectations of your preacher’s subjective interpretation of a ‘good man’.

                We can’t all be like Jesus. Actually, shocking as it sounds, none of us could ever be like Jesus.

                Assuming..there was a Jesus, etc…

        • IndyInjun says:

          I cannot believe that I am now on the same page as Harry….after all of these years.

          As for me, I am sick of the Pharisee Republicans who make excuses for the greatest looting of a class of people – the American Middle Class – in the history of the world. Georgia is the epicenter of it.

          • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

            “As for me, I am sick of the Pharisee Republicans who make excuses for the greatest looting of a class of people – the American Middle Class – in the history of the world. Georgia is the epicenter of it.”

            …Amen, Brother.

              • Harry says:

                I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes to that, sooner or later. As I shared here before, my ancestor was hung in Kentucky by the “Regulators” in 1868 at age of 72, because he was trying to help freed slaves in his county.

  5. northside101 says:

    In New Jersey, Christie can “get away” with socially conservative views because voters up there know there is no chance in Hades that state, long acknowledged as a secular, socially liberal one, will ever, say, ban abortion, even if Roe v Wade were overturned. (The same could be said for the rest of the Northeast, perhaps with exception of Pennsylvania.) In fact just a week or so ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court opened the gates to gay marriage. Thus, voters up there who like his economic views but disagree on the social ones can vote for him without reservation. (If I am correct, he also favors civil unions, though not gay marriage, so he is not as conservative as people may think he is.) New Jersey has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992—Obama easily won there in 2008 and 2012.

    Virginia is a more complicated analysis. McAuliffe’s charges that Cucenelli wanted to ban abortion—even in cases of rape and incest—were viewed more credibly because the state has a strong GOP majority in the House and recently had tried to impose some restrictions short of overturning Roe v Wade. Cucenelli basically liked to be known as a culture warrior (a la Rick Santorum), and only belatedly, when he turned the emphasis to a more economic one—the pitfalls of Obamacare—did the tide begin to turn his way.

    The problem for the Republicans in that state is they do well in the slow—or no—growth rural areas (coal country of southwest Virginia, Piedmont area south of the James River)—but are faring worse in the fast-growing areas of that state—Northern Virginia, Richmond and the Hampton Roads area. Yesterday, Northern Virginia delivered a 135,000+ vote margin to McAuliffe–twice his statewide margin of 55,000 votes. But he also lost the formerly GOP Richmond area and Tidewater (Norfolk area). The newcomers to Virginia are less conservative than the native-born residents of the state, and a hard-line social agenda ain’t gonna fly in those areas. Between 1952 (Eisenhower) and 2004 (Bush Jr.), Virginia voted Republican in every presidential election save for the 1964 LBJ landslide—but Obama won it in 2008 and 2012, again by winning the major urban areas while writing off hopelessly GOP areas in that state like southwest VA, Lynchburg and most of the Shenandoah Valley.

    Buzz is absolutely right that winning requires coalitions, like a plane needs two wings to fly. But “one size fits all” does not fit the winning Republican strategy—you can’t run as the same type of Republican in New Jersey than you can, say, in Alabama or rural areas of Georgia.

    • Harry says:

      The wings are coming off the plane. We need a new plane. The GOP has nobody at present who can win a national election. As much as I like Cruz, he cannot win. Christie cannot win. The exit polling in New Jersey yesterday clearly indicated that a large majority would vote for Hillary over Christie for president. That’s his home state that simultaneously elected him governor.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        I’m afraid that there’s no denying the obvious that Hillary could be a problem for the GOP in 2016.

        But with the massive disaster that is Obamacare (and by extension, their Democratic Party creators) only getting less and less popular by the day, and with the supposedly recovering economy continuing to struggle greatly under Obama’s “watch”, one potentially could see a path to victory for a Chris Christie or maybe even a Ted Cruz in 2016.

        With Obama likely to continue to struggle mightily in his second term on a number of fronts (particularly on Obamacare), the GOP is actually in a much better position to pick-up seats in both houses of Congress in 2014 than many may seem to think.

        If Hillary either runs a lackluster campaign where she thinks that victory is a given, or even decides not to run, there is a puncher’s chance that a Christie could win in 2016.

        If Hillary decides not to run and the Democrats have no good candidate in ’16, with Obamacare being such a disaster, Ted Cruz, who led the fight against Obamacare can say “I told you so” and ride that theme to victory in the both the GOP primary and the general election in ’16.

        • caroline says:

          There is NO WAY Ted Cruz is going to win a general election. His views are very far out of the center. He’s Cuchinelli running for national office. Read the “New American Center” and you will see why Cruz cannot win. Christie could win especially if Hillary is not running. For the GOP to win it would have to be a candidate not affiliated with the Tea Party.

          • seenbetrdayz says:

            Like Romney or McCain? Oh wait.

            It seems so odd that the Tea Party, which was largely responsible for the 2010 wave, is now met by such disdain even though every effort has been made to strip them of their influence by the GOP establishment. Why? Could it be that the power-brokers in the GOP saw the rising Tea Party as a threat to the internal structure of the party? I have no doubts that there are people in high places within the GOP who would rather see the party dissolved than to risk their leadership positions to a group that has already proven itself to be effective in delivering political victories.

            • caroline says:

              Well, if you are honest you have to admit that the tea party has also caused the GOP to keep from gaining the senate two elections in a row. I have no idea about the internal workings of the GOP but I can read numbers and that is what I am going on. You see you are focusing on the house election in 2010 and forgetting what happened in VA yesterday and what happened in the senate in 2010 and 2012.

                • caroline says:

                  I’m actually not concerned but I am a purple voter on a national level. The facts are the facts no matter who repeats them.

                  • Harry says:

                    The fact is, a political faction will sometimes win elections, and sometimes lose. What’s important is to fight for what you believe in and not be too concerned about winning every popularity contest.

      • IndyInjun says:

        Yes, Harry. They sort of miss that calling the only conservative political class that got it right, Ron Paul supporters, names and stomping over them like later-day Brown Shirts or Leninists just might have engendered a raw, pure hatred of the GOP. I would and will vote for a Democrat before I vote for any Georgia GOP establishment thugs, crooks and bums. That being said, there will be chances for the GOP to redeem itself and dump the bums from the US Senate and Governor on down the line. We need to set a priority or hit list and stick with it. I hope to wholeheartedly support that effort, even in the knowledge that you probably all will leave me no option in the end other than to vote -ugh- for a DemoncRAT.

    • To be clear, I’m not proposing a “one size fits all” approach. What I want is people to follow their own conscience and respect other’s people’s right to follow theirs too. I want to get back to the days where we fought like heck for our favorite candidate in the primary then backed the nominee and fought like heck for him/her.

      Can’t we all just get along? (sorry couldn’t resist).

      • Harry says:

        I respect Chris Christie’s right to run for president but I’ll not support him. I follow the 70-30 rule, but he’s not meeting that standard IMHO. Right after the election he does a 180 and says he respects “some” of the Tea Party. Meanwhile, he helps only those Republican candidates who are establishment. He compromises and panders too much for my taste.

  6. rightofcenter says:

    Who is this “we”? Got a mouse in your pocket?

    The interesting thing about this series of posts is that the only things you have identified that make Christie off-limits are 1) that he dissed Romney (who, remember, was deemed a RINO by you and most of your cronies) and 2) he’s a New Jersey Republican. I would suggest, contrary to Buzz’s original assertion, any coalition that only works when people like you and your fellow travelers are part of it is doomed from the start.

    • Harry says:

      1) I never referred to Romney as being a RINO. I didn’t agree with him on everything, but his heart was in the right place. McCain is a RINO.
      2) If Republicans in New Jersey want to support the eventual GOP nominee that’s fine, but we will not support Christie if he would become the nominee, which is doubtful anyway. Christie won’t even get New Jersey’s electoral votes in the election. Anyway as I’ve said, if the GOP is most likely going to lose 2016 anyway, then they might as well put up some real GOP principles in the form of Ted Cruz, and not a water boy for the status quo.

  7. David C says:

    Looking at last night, I think I’ve figured out how to replicate Christie’s big win on a national scale to get:

    1. Already be President.
    2. Entire country is hit by massive natural disaster.
    3. Democrats decline to run any kind of candidate.
    4. President Christie!

  8. Rick Day says:

    The easiest and fastest way to push and lock youth vote into a state party is for that party to embrace the Colorado Experiment™ and legitimate possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

    Suddenly, that 15-25% sales tax on weed to fund building new schools is not so much a *pipe dream* is it guys?

    So…

    who’s gonna grow the stones?

    D’s? R’s?

    Bueller?

    *crickets*

  9. Buzz, fine post, but I question how much Obamacare hurt McAuliffe. Here is McAuliffe’s average percentage in the RCP data table for each month…
    Oct/Nov: 48
    Sep: 43
    Aug: 47
    July: 39
    Pre July 2013: 38

    So as you can see, he basically started around 38, got up to 47 in August, down to 43 in September and up to 48 where he ended up this month. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if Obamacare really had some effect on this race, why did McAuliffe end up with his exact same number he’d been polling all along since August?

    As far as Cuccinelli goes, his averages were (same timeline) 40, 38, 39, 38, 39.

    So think about this, prior to July, it was a statistical tie over many polls, averaging around 39-38 Cuccinelli advantage. I would posit that Cuccinelli has a little bit of an Archie Bunker “problem” – some people agreed with him and were going to vote for him all along, they just didn’t want to tell a pollster because they know his views are so far out of the mainstream.

    But to say Obamacare swung the election to Cuccinelli, sorry the data just doesn’t support that.

    • John Konop says:

      Chris,

      I heard this was the reason for the surge on the news via his base………This was in the news prior to the election….

      …..Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has been getting a last-minute boost in his bid for governor, with a number of robocalls accusing his Democratic opponent of profiting off a dying man and favoring “abortion on demand.”

      The Virginia Republican Party, Catholic Association and Virginia Principles Fund all robocalled Old Dominion voters on Monday, just one day before they headed to the polls, urging them to vote for Cuccinelli over Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Recordings of the calls were posted online by Shaun Dakin of StopPoliticalCalls.org…..

      ………The robocall from the Virginia Republican Party, meanwhile, goes after McAuliffe’s business record — specifically his investments with a man charged with defrauding insurers by using stolen identities of terminally ill people………..

        • John Konop says:

          Caroline,

          If you swing a vote it counts as 2…..if targeted it can help…..landlines are older people….and the message was directed at them…..fear sells…..but the demographics with the above message is playing to a smaller crowd…..Like hard right radio audience is slowly going down hill….Still a good audience via spending and voting, but not a good long term plan.

          • caroline says:

            Okay. I see where it would be effective with certain demographics but apparently there weren’t enough people it was effective with to swing the election.

            I’m not even sure if it’s a good enough audience for voting anymore. Definitely not going to work long term because your voters are destined to be dying off.

            • John Konop says:

              That is the point……the strategy hurts in the long run…….but the people are being used by talk radio, TV……they need the audience until they come up with a plan b…….people like Rush will be able to play the game and keep making big bucks….always follow the money……meanwhile the Dems will get stronger if they can control their hard side…..places like Georgia, NC, Texas…..will start getting more blue in few cycles…..unless the GOP can contain the talking heads……

    • xdog says:

      “According to exit polls, 27 percent of Virginians said that healthcare was their top issue and the candidates were nearly split even on that. Twenty percent of folks said that the issue of a woman’s right to choose was their top issue. Terry McAuliffe won those voters by about 40 points.”

      The contrast is obvious. Caroline’s posts in this thread are typical of many reactions I’ve heard expressed in the past few weeks.

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/dnc-comms-director-va-gov-race-was-always-going-to-be-tight

  10. Three Jack says:

    “Winning is better than losing”

    Not if winning means sacrificing much of what one stands for to accomplish the win. Even worse, if the winner turns out to be a loser when it comes to actual governing, then the win becomes a big time loss come the next election.

    A great example of the failed concept Buzz bases his column on is the Sonny Perdue debacle. I remember well joining my fellow GOPers for the big inaugural bash at the WCC celebrating Perdue’s surprise victory over Roy Barnes. The new governor was late, barely stayed and later we found out why. He was set to announce big tax increases the very next day…he barely took the oath before reverting back to his dem roots. It only got worse as time went on with Perdue thus the win became a big loss for Georgia and many of us who used to be loyal GOPers.

    There are many more examples, but for now that will do. Winning is not always better than losing in politics, especially the GOP kind.

    • John Konop says:

      Bart,

      The problem is the definition of conservative is all over the map on many issues.

      1) Social conservative really conservative or liberal on privacy laws? And pro growing entitlements?

      2) Get tough on crime pro War on Drugs supporters conservative or for liberal laws to take away you rights?

      3) Charter School supporters that do not want real to put tax payers at undue risk liberal or conservative?

      4) Neocons conservative or liberal?

      5) Mandatory sentencing verse common sense sentencing liberal or conservative?

      6) Privatizing jails conflict of interest, liberal or conservative?

      I could go on and on……

      • Three Jack says:

        John,

        True John. But why is that? Could it be that once the GOP attained real power circa 1994 based on the so-called ‘Contract with America’ they then failed to do what was promised in the contract? It’s been 20 years and still much of the COA is yet to even be addressed much less implemented.

        Winning was winning then, but we now know what it means to have a long term loss as the result of that win.

      • caroline says:

        I can define it for you these days:

        Conservative = whatever George W. Bush did.

        Liberal = whatever Obama does.

        Whether these are actually based in reality who knows. For the last ten years reps have just done what the president wanted without any questioning. It’s really kind of ridiculous.

        • Rick Day says:

          even spookier: All this thread is wrapped around the concept of a sports competition. As long as their is competition, and two opposing sides, there will always be a focus on scoring ‘points’ and ‘denying points’.

          The more everything is painted in shades of ‘winners and losers’ the more likely there will never be adequate compromise on the wedge issues.

          Without wedges, there is no competition and the whole house of cards fall. Sad, actually, when you think of it.

          Thanks, Obama!

          • caroline says:

            True but the reality is you have to win elections at some point to get some of your agenda implemented. That being said our currently issue-less campaigns on who you want to go to a barbecue with or who do you want to drink a beer with engender this kind of junk too.

            Obama is an amorphous blob.

    • caroline says:

      You know what? I actually agree with a lot of what you are saying. Really the GOP was on the trajectory to win an election if they had just been able to wait maybe four more years and it’s always better to grow your own candidates than get someone to switch parties but it takes more work to groom your own candidates.

      • Three Jack says:

        caroline, And to make matters worse, the day after winning the governor’s mansion and senate, the GOP began to welcome other dems to the party even giving some key leadership positions. It was bad enough that we had Sonny for 8 years, worse that he brought along other old dems just to gain a perceived senate majority for the GOP.

        The result speaks for itself as the GOP is now left to fight internal battles over so-called principles while the other party stays focused on their basic ideal of redistribution in the name of compassion. There are likely too many on the receiving end of the redistribution efforts for the GOP to ever be the less government, lower spending party again.

        • caroline says:

          But you know what? A long time Republican friend of mine is actually glad this fight, argument or whatever is happening. She was so sick of candidates all five of them dressed the same spouting the same rhetoric and she couldn’t tell them apart and you really could not know what you were actually voting for UNTIL they actually got into office and then it was too late. I mean if you’re a moderate Republican shouldn’t you be able to tell WHO is the moderate Republican in the primary and vote for that particular one if that is who you want?

    • bgsmallz says:

      Really? The state, GOP in Georgia, and conservatives would have been better off with Barnes in office instead of Perdue? That’s not a view based in reality.

      We’ve lost sight of what a win is and what a loss is…and tend to compare Perdue with That Candidate that Should have run who is Not-A-RINO instead of the real comparison which would have been Perdue or Barnes. The GOP in Georgia is better off because Perdue won.

  11. Thanks for the comments folks, and for reading.

    A couple more thoughts:

    1) I’m upset the national GOP, the “establishment” gave up on Cuccinelli. It’s part of what prompted me to write this post. If the establishment wants people to fall in line behind their candidates then they sure as heck need to back the nominee when it’s not the establishment choice. Given the high profile status of the VA Governor’s race they should have stayed in it to the bitter end.

    2) I’m also upset at the NRSC declaring war on the Conservative Candidates Fund (or whatever it’s called). I get it that the NRSC will be supporting incumbents but to seek to punish businesses who work with challengers is over the top.

    3) I’m not trying to make the case for, or against, Chris Christie as a national candidate. I mentioned him because he does hold some socially conservative views which we’re often told hurt the GOP with women etc… Christie won the female vote in spite of those views. So those who say the religious right needs to shut up and go away do so at the peril of eternal defeat for Republican candidates.

    4) As a Legislator in Georgia, I want the right to vote my conscience on bills that come before the House. To expect respect for my views, I also have to respect the views of others in my Caucus, even when they vote differently from me on a bill.

    I want to see the GOP apply the same thinking to working together to elect the best candidates we can. We need to get back to the idea that you fight like heck for your favorite candidate in the primary and then get behind the nominee and fight like heck for him/her. I don’t want to see any faction of the GOP tossed out, not even RINOs. 🙂

  12. Maybe the national GOP “gave up” on Cuccinelli because the prospect of 4 years of trans-vaginal ultrasound articles in the Washington Post isn’t good for the national GOP’s brand?

    • Harry says:

      Did you know that Cuccinelli actually got a majority of married white women? I think the margin was by 9%.

        • John Konop says:

          Women are getting married latter…..especially college educated……this demographic via social issues plays to Dems…….Hillary must be sending money to Ted Cruz…he will guarantee a Hillary victory…..he will drown out Walker, Christy…….

          • Harry says:

            Middle class women getting married later is another nail in the coffin of trying to maintain a positive birthrate. Young middle class people can’t afford to get married because of wealth-killing government policies, thus defaulting the DNA pool to the lower and less productive welfare class who are incentivized to procreate. It’s a vicious cycle. At least I won’t be around to enjoy the consequences.

  13. Harry says:

    From ABC News:

    (WASHINGTON) — Sen. Ted Cruz pushed back Wednesday at N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s suggestion that America is “angry with the dysfunction in Washington,” an implicit criticism of the Tea Party-driven government shutdown.

    Cruz offered tepid praise for Christie, who cruised to a second term Tuesday night, but suggested that conservatives are craving a leader who will not back down or compromise.

    “I think it is terrific that he is brash, that he is outspoken, and that he won his race,” Cruz told ABC News at the Capitol. “But I think we need more leaders in Washington with the courage to stand for principle. And in particular, Obamacare is not working.”

    Asked whether Christie is a true conservative, Cruz walked away. Aides said he didn’t have time for more questions.

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