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Gingrich: The challenge confronting Republicans
Open Letter via Human Events ^ | December 22, 2012 | Newt Gingrich

Posted on 12/24/2012 7:07:23 PM PST by CutePuppy

To Chairman Reince Priebus,

Thank you for inviting me to present an analysis for the Republican National Committee about the current challenges Republicans face at every level.

Our working together goes all the way back to your early years in politics. I enjoyed doing events with you in Wisconsin and admired the work you did in helping Scott Walker become Governor.

I was delighted when you became RNC Chairman and I know how much you accomplished in the last two years rebuilding RNC finances and developing a better ground game.

Your creation of the Growth and Opportunity Project chaired by Henry Barbour is a very important step toward assessing what we have to learn from 2012 and what we have to do to succeed in 2014 and 2016.

I look forward to working with Henry and his team and hope this paper provides some useful thoughts about both the GOP's past record of responding successfully to election challenges and to the changing nature of American society and politics.

Reforming the Republican Party so it can create a governing majority is an enormous challenge which includes every element of the party. However as you have observed the RNC has a key role to play in bringing together the ideas and the critiques and helping shape a clear vision of a successful GOP.

I begin with three famous quotes about solving problems.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Albert Einstein.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Einstein

“When I  couldn't solve a problem I would always make it bigger until I could find the solution. I never solved it by making it smaller,” President and General of the Armies Dwight Eisenhower on problem solving in World War Two.

PROPOSITION

The scale of strategic thinking Republicans need is vastly larger and deeper than any current proposal recognizes. The Republican National Committee will play a particularly important role in gathering information, encouraging analysis, hosting dialogues about key changes, and helping implement strategies for victory in 2014 and 2016.

This will require a deep, bold, thorough, and lengthy process of rethinking.

I was so shaken by how wrong I was in projecting a Republican win on election night that I have personally set aside time at Gingrich Productions to spend the next six months with our team methodically examining where we are and what we must do.

In that context I was delighted when you appointed a distinguished team to lead the analysis for the Republican National Committee. I appreciate your invitation to work directly with them on a process that will be important to the entire Republican Party and ultimately to the country.

This paper is a step in that direction.

This initial analysis is direct, tough minded, and daunting.

As you recognize, the Republican National Committee is not merely the junior partner of whoever becomes the next presidential nominee.

The Republican NATIONAL Committee has a key role to play in every level of party activity including Congress, Governors, state legislators and local offices and activists.

That key role has often led to profound improvements in the GOP at a time of electoral disaster.

.....


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 25points; brilliant; cassandra; danger; elections; gingrich; microissues; newt; newtgingrich; permanentminority; republicans; warning
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This is an issue paper in the form of an open letter by Newt Gingrich, analyzing and outlining a set of actions by Republican Party and RNC needed to avoid being again a semi-permanent minority party on a national / federal level. It contains strong words on the systemic failures of the cozy model of Republican consulting class and professional campaign managers club.

This is the kind of analysis that is necessary in light of the string of disasters and near-disasters in presidential and congressional elections.

This is from his own "lips," not "translated" by "reporters" in the media like HuffPo etc.

Analysis and course/set of actions seem deep and important, so I will post the rest of the letter in the next post.

1 posted on 12/24/2012 7:07:33 PM PST by CutePuppy
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To: CutePuppy
[emphasis mine]

THE RNC ROLE IN KEY PERIODS OF CHANGE

The RNC has historically played a very important role in recognizing new realities and developing new strategies and new structures.

After the disastrous collapse of the GOP in 1964 Chairman Ray Bliss played a decisive role in rebuilding the party structure. Within two years President Lyndon Johnson had created such a mess and Republicans had rebuilt so rapidly that the GOP won decisive victories for Congress and for Governorships.

After the devastating Watergate defeat of 1974 Chairwoman Mary Louise Smith led a courageous rethinking of the party's strategies and structures. Her Executive Director, Eddie Mahe, undertook an exhaustive in depth look at a party which had dropped to 18% support among the American people( the lowest since the Great Depression).

In 1977 Chairman Bill Brock built on that rethinking. He backed Congressman Jack Kemp's concept of supply side tax cutting to create economic growth. In 1978 Brock paid for the “tax cut clipper” to fly Kemp and Senator Roth around the country. This was a very courageous step because many establishment Republicans ridiculed Kemp's ideas and opposed his bill. Even when Reagan adopted it in the campaign it was derided as voodoo economics by some Republicans).

I campaigned on supply side tax cuts and won a House seat in 1978  after losing in 1974 and 1976. I know Kemp's ideas made a big difference.

Brock invested heavily in party structure and in ideas. After Margaret Thatcher won the May, 1979 election, Brock brought her advertising team to the United Stares and we studied intensely how they had communicated complex ideas in simple, vivid language. I was honored as a freshman to be part of that group and I know it disseminated a new wave of ideas that along with Reagan's adoption of them  shaped the GOP for a generation.

After the 1992 defeat Chairman Haley Barbour was decisive in renewing enthusiasm, raising resources, and helping shape and implement strategy. Without Haley's help we would not have had a Contract with America, would not have won the first House  GOP majority in 40 years or re-elected it for the first time since 1928 in 1996.

Your leadership in creating the Growth and Opportunity Project sets the stage for exactly that kind of decisive impact over the next few years.

OUR CHALLENGE

There will be forces urging The Growth and Opportunity Project to develop a shallow, quick fix, small change approach to our current challenges.

There are very powerful, well connected, and prestigious forces who have made a lot of money out of the old system and have a huge interest in keeping it intact.  It may be bad for the GOP but it is good for them.

There are a number of influential people who are simply uncomfortable trying to think through fundamental change. They like to raise money and spend money. Over the last six presidential elections they have been in the minority five times. If money were the answer by now they would have found a majority.

The committee has an historic obligation to insist on  a very deep, thorough analysis of where we are, what we did, the challenges we face, and the strategies and structures needed to win in the future.

If basic rethinking doesn't make a lot of people very uncomfortable it isn't serious enough, thorough enough or bold enough.

This makes the Growth and Opportunity Project a central activity for the party in the next six to nine months.

THE THREAT

Too many Republicans underestimate the scale of the threat we face.

There is a combination of demographic trends, cultural changes, technological breakthroughs and intelligent, disciplined application of resources which could turn America into a national version of Chicago or California.

It is very unlikely Republicans will win in California without major changes.

It is very unlikely Republicans could win in Chicago even with major changes.

Those Republicans who assume bad events will beat the Democrats in 2016 underestimate the power of machines to survive bad performances.

In good economies or bad Democrats win in Chicago.

Throughout the decay and decline of  Detroit (from 1,500,000 people with the highest per capita income in 1950 to under 800,000 and 67th in income today) Democrats won despite failure after failure.

In Argentina Peronism shattered the country's political culture three generations ago and Argentina has never recovered.

The Democrats have been building a national machine while the Republicans have been running campaigns.

Four years of preparation (one could argue 20 years of preparation going back to the first Clinton victory) collided with a two to six month Republican general election campaign.

President Obama combined the lessons he learned as a neighborhood organizer with the principles and systems he learned from the Chicago machine.  In Florida alone they had 800 full time staff by Election Day. In some areas they had paid people who had lived in neighborhoods for over three years before the election.

This was organizing unlike anything Republicans had imagined.

As a general rule Machines beat campaigns.

It will take a large coalition working year around to bring enough people and resources together to defeat a machine

Unless Republicans profoundly and deeply rethink their assumptions and study what the Democrats have been doing the future could become very bleak and the Clinton-Obama majority could become as dominant as the Roosevelt majority was from 1932 to 1968 presidentially and from 1930 to 1994 in the House of Representatives.

THE OBAMA  ACHIEVEMENT

No Republican should kid themselves about the scale of President Obama's political achievement.

I was one of those who thought he would almost certainly be defeated.

Election night results have forced me to rethink everything I understood about how America makes political decisions.

With a bad economy, high gasoline prices, radical policies, and a massive deficit, precedent suggested that President Obama would lose in 2012.

However the President's campaign recognized the challenges and designed strategies and structures to overcome them.

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asserted that “first you win the argument, then you win the vote.”

The Obama campaign took her adage to heart.

Exit polling indicated that Obama won the argument over the economy and by a large margin the American people blamed former President Gorge W Bush rather than his successor for the economic mess.

Building on advantages they had before the campaign began, the Obama team sealed off African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans (amazingly, by a bigger margin than Latinos), younger Americans and especially young single women.

Look at that list.

If the Democrats sustain their dominance in those groups, how can we believe we will be building a successful Republican future.

From a geographic perspective how do we write off New England, New York, California, Illinois, etc and think we are going to compete. One analyst noted that the  Democratic majority starts with about 250 electoral votes and simply has to find 20 extra electoral votes to win the Presidency.

This emerging Democratic machine helps explain why, in five of the last six Presidential campaigns, the GOP has failed to win a majority (and the 2004 Bush reelection was the smallest re-election margin of any President in our history).

If we were a sports team with that record every fan would be demanding profound change.

OUTSIDE KNOWLEDGE

The current Republican consulting class and their professional campaign acolytes simply don't  know enough to provide the level of knowledge we need.

Our effort should include reports from and dialogues with a number of people who have never been Republican consultants (see the  “Questions” section below for some examples).

There should be special RNC meetings throughout 2013 to host day long workshops in which experts from a variety of areas immerse the committee in the realities of the world in which we will be competing.

The workshops should be streamed on line and cached at an “RNC STRATEGIC THINKING” website so every Republican activist  and concerned citizen can also learn and offer suggestions and comments.

We need a bottoms up rethinking involving many, many people, not a top down “expert led” process.

The experts just proved they aren't experts so we should be very cautious about their reassurance that now they know what they didn't know six weeks ago.

An open process would also fit more into the emerging nature of the Internet based, wireless, Information Age fluidity.

MEASURABLE CHANGE

When the analysis has been absorbed and the new strategies and structures adopted it is vital that the Republicans insist on changes that are measurable.

For too long we have tolerated consultants and staff promising change as they went back to their comfortable but losing ways.

For too long we have been intimidated by incumbents and candidates who promise to follow new strategies and grow new structures but promptly fall back into the same old habits and patterns.

Mayor Giuliani's use of specific measurements to fight crime in New York is a case study of insisting on and getting real change.

The results of the Growth and Opportunity Project should lead to measurable differences in the GOP over the next few years.

REPUBLICAN ASSETS

As we enter this process it is important to remember we have a lot of assets.

Having lived through 1964 and 1974 I can personally testify that we are much stronger today.

In November 1974 only 18% of the country identified as Republican. It's hard to believe that six years later Ronald Reagan won in a landslide and two years earlier Nixon had won re-election in a landslide - a note for those who think things can't change rapidly.

The exit polls for Congress in 2012 indicated 33% identified as Republican, 39% as Democrats, and 28% as independents.

Republicans  control the US House ( not true in either of those earlier disasters).

We have 30 Governors representing 315 electoral votes (45 more than it takes to win the Presidency).

In 24 states Republicans control both the Governorship and the legislature.

Those 24 states have 161,390,000 people or 51.2% of all Americans living under Republican government.

There are only 14 states with total Democratic control.

Overall there are 3863 Republican state legislators and only 3519 Democratic state legislators.

Thus we are in a period where there could be an alliance between 30 Republican Governors and a Republican US House of Representatives which could highlight better solutions and also highlight the failures of the federal government.

There is also a large bench of talent in the Republican state legislators which could lead to a future of very good candidates at every level.

The question is if we can identify a strategy and structure which enables us to turn those assets into a victorious future majority.

THE REPUBLICAN CAUSE

Learning how to win in the 21st century is vital to the cause of freedom. The Republican Party remains dedicated to the cause of Liberty as described by our first  Republican President, Abraham Lincoln when he described the source of American prosperity:

“All this is not the result of accident. It has a philosophical cause. Without the Constitution and the Union, we could not have attained the result; but even these, are not the primary cause of our great prosperity. There is something back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. That something, is the principle of “Liberty to all” - the principle that clears the path for all-gives hope to all-and, by consequence, enterprize, and industry to all.

“The expression of that principle, in our Declaration of Independence, was most happy, and fortunate. Without this, as well as with it, we could have declared our independence of Great Britain; but without it, we could not, I think, have secured our free government, and consequent prosperity. No oppressed, people will fight, and endure, as our fathers did, without the promise of something better, than a mere change of masters.”

We remain dedicated to the cause of freedom and liberty but we have to master the technologies and systems of the 21st century to ensure that that cause is victorious. We  have to apply the principles of freedom, safety, prosperity, and liberty to helping Americans of all backgrounds understand how our approach will lead to their having better lives.

QUESTIONS

The key questions are about Republicans, not about Romney. It is a big mistake to focus the blame for this defeat on Governor Romney. He did not lose the majority in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2008. This is a much bigger, deeper problem than an analysis of 2012 in isolation will solve.

The following are examples of the kind of questions the Growth and Opportunity Project should be exploring.  This list is not inclusive but is merely illustrative of the depth of knowledge we need with which to begin our exploration of strategies and structures for the future.

Many of these questions will require a dialogue over time rather than a single meeting or single report. Some of them may remain works in progress over a number of years.

Start with what the Democrats have been doing right. Build a library of must reads starting with books like Plouffe's The Audacity to Win, Bai's The Argument:Inside the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, and Witwer and Schrager's The BluePrint(: How the Democrats Won Colorado(and why Republicans Everywhere should care). A small team should be assigned to pull together every book, article, and interview which helps explain what the Democrats have been doing and to organize them into topics for analytical access by every interested Republican. A working group should also issue a report on lessons to be learned after thoroughly  reviewing all this material. Someone should become the chief researcher and archivist on our opponents' systems and activities.

2. We need a map of the Democrats' coalition and the scale and intensity of their coalition.  Their organized efforts and networks simply dwarf anything Republicans and conservatives have developed. Furthermore, their coalition is a permanent system of activism while the Republican consultant model is campaign focused and therefore both episodic and isolated. An ongoing coalition can mass and focus more energy and resources than isolated short time-horizon campaigns.

3. We need a clear distinction between coalition-based campaigns and consultant-based campaigns. There are profound differences in systems, styles, structures, and attitude. The last three big Republican Presidential victories (1980, 1984, 1988) were coalition campaigns. The House victories of 1994, 1996, and 2010 were coalition victories. The Republican consultant class, many campaign professionals, and many Republican staff are deeply opposed to the coalition model.  This choice is decisive in growing a bigger, stronger, and more robust GOP.  The RNC should insist on this debate and force the transition to a coalition model including within the RNC structure itself. This question of strategic doctrine and the culture and structure which implements it is central to the future of the party. Another billion dollars spent on the wrong strategy and structure will be another billion dollars wasted. As an analogy, the French had more and better tanks in 1940 than the Germans. However they had the wrong strategy and structure for using the tanks. They were routed in days by a more modern doctrine. Doctrine defeats dollars and the bulk of the professional GOP is wedded to the wrong doctrine. This change will be painful but unavoidable if we are to become a truly  competitive 21st century organization. The problem is not consultants, campaign professionals, and staff as such. We need solid professionals and experts who can develop complex strategies, build complex structures, and run complex campaigns. The challenge is to convert the culture and doctrine from one that is focused on candidate centric, consultant defined campaigns to one that is built around coalitions, long term party building and team efforts.

4. We need a timeline and analysis of the Obama Presidency and campaign. Some components of the campaign go back to 2006 and have been growing and evolving ever since. Micro-targeting, micro-leaders, micro-communities, and micro-issues all existed within a larger narrative.  There was solid connection between campaign needs and Presidential and Executive Branch activities (including policies, appointments and schedules).

5. Infotainment is a world  Democrats enjoy and use and Republicans either disdain or fear, and as a consequence avoid.  The View, the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, Leno, Letterman, ESPN, Nickelodeon, MTV, and on and on, represent patterns of communications Republicans  often disdain, seldom appear on and as a consequence are simply invisible to their audiences.  The same could be said for most ethnic media.  We need a report on the appearances of Democrats and Republicans in these areas in 2011 and 2012 and then we need a strategy for Republican engagement.

6. The strategic nurturing over time of micro-issues with micro-organizations and micro-communicating ( a pattern much richer and more powerful than micro-targeting) to create micro-communities that support their team and their candidate has been vastly better done by Democrats. This deserves its own study and a strategic response that will require very different systems and structures. There is a huge difference between the strategic development of issues over time (often lasting through several election cycles) and the Republican consultant and professional staff focus on tactics with very short time horizons.

We need at least three case studies of the growth of strategic issues on the left. The contraception issue ( which none of the GOP candidates understood when first raised in a debate by George Stephanopoulos in December, 2011) grew into the War on Women and became a major coalition message by the time of the Democratic National Convention. Post-election polling indicates it was very effective in mobilizing and solidifying one segment of the Obama coalition. It is a good example of a case study we need. How do we grow our issues? How do we recognize and trump their issues?

What other strategies should be studied as examples?

7. The 47% comment by Governor Romney reflected a deep belief by many conservatives and Republican consultants, campaign professionals, staffs, and activists. The entire psychology of writing off vast parts of a country or state and focusing narrowly may make some sense for a specific campaign. but it is a formula for permanent minority status when adopted by a party. The GOP should end red-versus-blue and narrowly focused targeting models. What would a 100% Republican Party be like if we planned 2014 and 2016 with no reference to red or blue  states or counties. It is true that President Obama ran a deliberate class warfare divisive campaign. However if you analyze his winning coalition it is amazing how many components were bonded by micro-communities and a sense of inclusiveness that transcended a narrowly class warfare approach. We have to understand this pattern of defining differences while being openly inclusive.

8. California should be a test of the new inclusive solutions-oriented GOP. Having our largest state dominated by the other party is an enormous disadvantage for Presidential elections and for controlling the House. Furthermore a one-party California has proven to be economically and educationally a disaster for Californians.  Finally, a GOP which includes minorities will by definition be competitive in California. A special California victory  project should be developed and sustained by the RNC until California is robustly competitive again (think of it as the equivalent of the long RNC investment in growing support in the South).

9. A truly national party also has to learn to compete in urban America. The 87.5 per cent turnout in Milwaukee, which shocked Wisconsin Republicans, should also be seen as a rebuke to a GOP which has atrophied in urban America. The RNC will need an urban operation that recruits, trains, and supports candidates in urban environments. One of the RNC's great contribution in the 1970s and early 1980s was an aggressive local candidate program. The local elections division was crucial to the growth of the post Watergate Party.  In the mid-1980s it was reinforced by GOPAC. Without the work of those two systems we would not have won a majority in 1994.  The RNC is NOT the presidential committee. It is the NATIONAL committee. As such it should methodically build the party at every level. This requires a structure and budget to make the commitment real.

10. Washington is going to be a mess for the next four years, but there are 30 state capitols with Republican Governors achieving positive solutions.  In 24 states there is Republican control of the executive and legislative branches.  There should be a close, daily alliance between the RNC, the RGA, and House Republicans. Every effort should be made to move Republican achievements from the states to the national media.  House Republicans should host hearings led by Republican Governors with success stories and other hearings with Republican Governors reporting on waste and failure in the federal government in their states. In addition, a thorough analysis should be undertaken of successful Republican Governors. How do thy win? How do they govern? How do they hold their coalitions together? Washington has a lot to learn from the states.

11. The challenge of Latino, Asian American, Native American and African American support must be met or the GOP will become a permanent minority party.  We must think through inclusion and not outreach. Out reach occurs when five white guys have a meeting and call minority activists.  Inclusion is when the activists are in the meeting. As a start, the RNC should bring together minority elected Republicans and those white Republicans who do best  in minority communities. New strategies and systems have to be built starting with listening to the people we want to recruit and attract. This challenge is so big, so hard, and so central to our success that it should be one of the top three items at every meeting and have one of the larger budgets at the RNC. Anything less will simply fail as it has for the last 50 years. The same model of inclusion has to be applied to expanding Republican strength among women and especially among younger single women.  We should establish specific goals for increases in support within each group for 2014 and 2016.

12. How did the Obama team manage such enormous turnouts? What components of message and mechanism went into that historic result?  Could it be matched by a Republican effort, and if so, how?

13. Data science Obama-style has no relationship to the Republican model of Internet politics. The Obama system is helped in data science by its 85 to 90% dominance of Silicon Valley. If you have the founders of Google and Facebook helping you design your system you have an enormous advantage over your competitors. The challenge of social networking, micro-community building and citizen mobilization may be second only to the challenge of including minority Americans in the GOP in determining whether Republicans decline into minority status for the next several decades.

14. The gap between Republican and Democratic pollsters is ominously large. The shock many Republican analysts and “experts” got election night was extraordinary and should lead to a deep, long rethinking of Republican assumptions about the country and the campaign.  In my case, it is leading me to six months of in-depth questioning, learning and analysis at Gingrich Productions. If it is true that the Obama team was doing 9,000 calls a night internally, connected to their data scientists while also using traditional polling it represents a world no Republican can match today. This is at the heart of knowing reality better than your opponent and it has to be honestly and courageously addressed.

15.  In story telling and narrative development, the mismatch of resources is as great as in Internet capabilities. Hollywood, New York City, academics, the news media and trial lawyers are the dominant story tellers in American life. Every one of them is overwhelmingly (80% plus) Democratic.  Republicans have complained about the inarticulateness and communications ineffectiveness of the party for the entire time I have been involved (going back to August 1958). This is the third great strategic challenge along with minorities and the Internet community.

16. The cultural and language context of politics is being changed dramatically by entertainment and by the education system. A 30-second ad can't offset hundreds of hours of sitcoms.  A key speech can't turn around years of indoctrination by left wing teachers and professors. Republican planning has to be much more aware of the context, especially for younger voters, within which we are messaging. In the long run there have to be strategic responses to the left's domination of entertainment and education.

17. The key to success in politics as in war is the ability to stay on offense. There is a deeply destructive tendency among Republicans to fall into a defensive mode (watch the current “fiscal cliff” process as a depressing example).  Learning to stay on offense requires a strategic vision that enables you to constantly orient to the future, an operational system that allows you to be inside your opponent's decision cycle ( see Boyd's work on OODA-loops for an explanation) and the tactical skill to dominate the media, which will normally be opposed to you. Republicans as a group have none of these  capabilities.

18.  What is the Republican vision of a successful America built by a freedom, opportunity, safety and prosperity majority? If we have no positive vision to attract people to and no positive vision toward which we can develop policies, it is impossible to stay on offense and impossible to build the micro-communities and coalitions which lead to victory. We have to translate that national vision into offering a better future in personal, believable terms that draw people away from a culture of dependency and enable us to offer a positive future rather than simply attacking the left. We  need to become  a party that people want to belong to. For example, we should have had a positive answer for lower cost, better outcome health care in addition to opposing Obamacare. People need to know what we are for even more than what we are against.

19. These changes will require retraining or replacing much of the current generation of consultants and campaign staff. All too many of our current consultants and professional campaign staffs have very short time horizons built around negative campaigns of tearing down their opponents.  This does not imply that we can succeed without consultants and campaign staff ( and knowledgable counterparts in public office). Just the opposite.  Their jobs are so critical we have to ensure they have the right doctrine and the right skills.

20. There should be an analysis of the Obama campaign compensation model. Is there a model of compensation which creates a longer time horizon? A model which encourages investing in a ground game as much as in television advertising? A model which has high rewards for winning or for meeting metrics (in some areas we may want to run starter campaigns to just begin re-engaging those communities and in those cases, the metrics of achievement may deserve rewards even while falling short of victory)?

21. What changes should Republicans make to maximize the effectiveness of their resources? There is a great deal of confusion about the efforts of the campaign, the committees, the superpacs etc. What do we need to learn from 2012 and how can we improve resource allocation in future campaigns?

22. What functions should be decentralized outside Washington? What lessons can be learned from the Obama-Democratic Party system.

23.  There should be an honest, tough minded review of the campaigns, the party, and the super-pacs. There is a widespread view that money is not being distributed based on performance and proposals but instead is being distributed based on cronyism, favoritism, closed (rigged.) bids etc?  This is a Republican issue not an RNC issue. Too much money was spent by too few people with too few victories to avoid these questions.

24. One test for the emerging new insights, strategies and structures would be to ask, if they  had been in place in 2009 would they have enabled us to win in 2012? When the various studies have submitted their recommendations, it would be healthy this August or September to have a two day simulated 2009-2012 rerun using the new decisions to see what impact they would have had. That might be a powerful last step in developing a new model, Information Age, inclusive Republican Party capable of becoming the governing majority.

25. As we listen to the larger country and learn more about key groups we failed to win in 2012 a number of new issues will begin to emerge. We need an issue development process that will enable us to build micro-communities or supporters and appeal to many people who do not consider themselves Republican. However this process of issue development should grow out of the new lessons and not prejudge them.

2 posted on 12/24/2012 7:08:53 PM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy
Just go away, Newt.

Gingrich: Conservatives Will Have to Accept Marriage 'Equality'

Gingrich to Obama: “Bring Back Colin Powell”

Priebus and the RNC/GOP-E can go away too...

Floor fight:Grass-roots activists battle-RNC delegate rules-Updt:Palin: “..attack grass-roots;”

Romney, GOP Establishment stage a coup at the RNC (screw you Tea Partiers!)

Romney's Agents Stage Coup at GOP Convention

3 posted on 12/24/2012 7:18:54 PM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: CutePuppy
That key role has often led to profound improvements in the GOP at a time of electoral disaster.

Were they sleeping the last 8 years? I gather not - they want us to accept weak candidates - weak in conservative values. And now they will talk us into changing 'our ways' and accept the unacceptable. And that's what they will be working onl

Personally, I think this letter is about - "Folks, we are doing something - so don't start a third party with conservative candidates!!!" "Remember, we told you conservatism is dead. Please believe us, we know what is best for you. You have to accept same sex marriage - it's the wave of the future and we must ride that wave to win!!"

4 posted on 12/24/2012 7:29:09 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: CutePuppy

These days I see a young woman and I see a dumbass obama voter. I used to see a young woman, now I see stupidity and noting else.


5 posted on 12/24/2012 7:32:03 PM PST by Ouderkirk (Obama has turned America into an aristocracy of the unaccomplished.)
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To: CutePuppy
enable us to build micro-communities or supporters and appeal to many people who do not consider themselves Republican.

We are all Democrats now!</sarcasm>

6 posted on 12/24/2012 7:32:24 PM PST by itsahoot (Any enemy, that is allowed to have a King's X line, is undefeatable. (USS Taluga AO-62))
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To: CutePuppy

What if everything we have been told about politics is wrong and so is Newt?

Merry Christmas


7 posted on 12/24/2012 7:34:11 PM PST by bray (Welcome to Obamaville)
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To: presently no screen name

I wanted Newt to be President, I thought he was Conservative.

Once again I was wrong.

We seem not to have so many Conservatives already elected.

My belief is that we do need a new party, there is no reworking this one with those present in it.


8 posted on 12/24/2012 7:34:20 PM PST by Venturer
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To: Timber Rattler

HA!

Michigan is now a right-to-work state and extremely red at the state level.

Choke on that libtards of the world.


9 posted on 12/24/2012 7:36:55 PM PST by quantim (Victory is not relative, it is absolute.)
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To: Timber Rattler

HA!

Michigan is now a right-to-work state and extremely red at the state level.

Choke on that libtards of the world.


10 posted on 12/24/2012 7:37:15 PM PST by quantim (Victory is not relative, it is absolute.)
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To: CutePuppy
They have been existence so long and never tackled the voter fraud issue. Bunch of morons! All their strategies mean nothing! All they do is chase their tail to look busy.

Too many Republicans underestimate the scale of the threat we face.

But that didn't stop them from coming out and support Romney! Just about all of them did. They CANNOT be that stupid to not know what we face - so I call BS on that!

Most conservatives do know the threat and yet they were ignored! It's just proves my point. It is ALL BS.

11 posted on 12/24/2012 7:40:40 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: CutePuppy

Explain why didn’t go for Newt, crapped on Romney helped up defeat King Obama. Then shut up. We didn’t have to lose, we lost because of the simple minded couldn’t accept that Romney would be better than King Obama and sunk the ship with a load of shi!. Good thinking. Keep it up and we will never win again.


12 posted on 12/24/2012 7:44:47 PM PST by Logical me
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To: CutePuppy

Start out by using the Army staff model. It clearly delineates responsibilities.


13 posted on 12/24/2012 7:49:13 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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CAUTION

Darn near anything coming out of Newt's mouth is self aggrandizing.

14 posted on 12/24/2012 7:50:22 PM PST by llevrok (ObamaLand - Where young people go to retire.)
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To: CutePuppy

Actually the challenge is.. making the Republican Party last longer than a “WEEKEND AT ERNIES”..
Many I know are leaving.. and others that refuse to admit they are leaving.., are leaving..

Running the inventor Romney-care against the inventor of Obama-care was quite LAME...
Any that don’t leave are “playing” PollyAnna’s “GLAD Game”..


15 posted on 12/24/2012 7:51:57 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: CutePuppy

Newt’s an enigma to me. I would consider this piece to be the most excellent complete analysis of the current state of the Republican Party and what needs to be done about it that I’ve read. But then he also does extremely dumb stuff like sitting on the couch with Pelosi, criticizing Bain from the left, etc. ???


16 posted on 12/24/2012 8:00:40 PM PST by Behind the Blue Wall
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To: itsahoot; bray
enable us to build micro-communities or supporters and appeal to many people who do not consider themselves Republican.

We are all Democrats now!

Ever talked to someone whose values seem to be all conservative or "Republican" (whatever the latter means nowadays) but who consistently votes Democratic and thinks that all Republicans are mean, religious zealots, intolerant, corrupt, rich-white-privileged/white-rich-privileged and they are deathly afraid of even listening to a Republican lest be "corrupted" themselves?

They are the "drones" of Democratic "micro-communities" and "micro-issues" strategy. It takes a lot of effort and incontrovertible evidence / facts to wake them up from that stupor... and that is if they actually listen to you on the subject(s).

What if everything we have been told about politics is wrong...?

Unfortunately, much of what we have been told (and still are being told daily on the radio, TV and Internet) by many of so-called "conservative" opinion leaders, is wrong.

Particularly when they dwell on subjects they know little about in detail (e.g., micro-financial or macro-economic, medical etc.), or are making a wrong conclusion and, instead of accepting a mistake when it's become obvious, decide to stick with that opinion and bring forward phony "facts" and arguments for it because they have an audience that will blindly accept it, without challenge or critical thinking.

When we follow them into that abyss of fighting the wrong battles or making "enemies" of people who already are or should be made into "friends," when we defend something without really understanding the issue, we, conservatives and/or libertarians, as a group, are much worse off.

Merry Christmas to all!

17 posted on 12/24/2012 8:06:13 PM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: Venturer
My belief is that we do need a new party, there is no reworking this one with those present in it.

I FIRMLY agree. Newt doesn't know how that Einstein quote applies to conservatives. We are the insane ones for at least 20 years.

18 posted on 12/24/2012 8:09:45 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Timber Rattler

Whenever Ed Rollins is on Fox News as one of the primary “go to” guys for advice I always start screaming at the TV.


19 posted on 12/24/2012 8:10:47 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Behind the Blue Wall

Oh stop with the couch already! How many couches did romney sit on w/liberals that you never saw a picture of? You saw what they wanted you to see and it worked! What about ALL the lies from romney against Newt - you can’t handle truth about Bain?


20 posted on 12/24/2012 8:22:38 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: CutePuppy

Discount the naysayers on this thread. They want a third party, have their head deep up Ron Pauls ass, and are too freakin’ lazy to even give $5 to their favorite GOP candidate.

And some here are liberal provocateurs...

Newt is right. There is of course the voter fraud and special interest group money, which he doesn’t and can’t address here. Nonetheless, what he speaks on is correct.


21 posted on 12/24/2012 8:26:34 PM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! [You can vote Democrat when you're dead]...)
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To: CutePuppy

*bump*


22 posted on 12/24/2012 8:30:52 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: Logical me

Who did you see Romney run against? I saw him run against everything and everyone conservative he could find. But he rolled over for Obama. He was chosen precisely because he was least able to contrast himself from Obama. Then he ran as if he and Obama were best friends.

We lost because neither Romney nor the GOP-e ever had any intention of defeating Obama because they have the same objectives. It is the GOP-e that wants you to believe that unless everyone in the GOP becomes liberal, republicans will never win another election. Are you one of those?


23 posted on 12/24/2012 8:35:47 PM PST by Waryone
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To: CutePuppy

This is a step in the right direction. Thank God we have Newt.


24 posted on 12/24/2012 8:42:17 PM PST by jonrick46 (The opium of Communists: other people's money.)
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To: CutePuppy

Gingrich lost all respect from me when he started flip-flopping in the breeze over many social issues. His own shortcomings morally aside - coming out with both barrels saying Republicans need to accept “gay marriage”, only to spin it back around the other way within “hours” is a sign - he has lost it.


25 posted on 12/24/2012 8:42:53 PM PST by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: Behind the Blue Wall
extremely dumb stuff like sitting on the couch with Pelosi

"If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his friend" - Abraham Lincoln

"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

To many young people (and many not so young), the "man-made global warming / climate change" is by now a matter of faith, even, as they might believe, scientifically-based "faith" - you will not get through to them about science or fraud or possible positive aspects of AGW (read recent article WSJ: Matt Ridley: Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change, 2012 December 18).

You will not even get to the first base with them, if you are considered a "climate change denier" - they simply will not listen to you or your arguments - you will be challenging their faith.

If you don't challenge their faith, it's very easy to provide the argument that the right "green solutions" (like "clean, cheap, green" nuclear energy, natural gas, filtrated oil and antracite, and even localized - not expensive farm-based - solar energy) will make their energy more plentiful, cheaper and will not require taxes, fees, more regulation and (most importantly for them) "sacrifices" that Democratic doomsday versions of "global warming"/"climate change" are requiring them to accept.

You don't need to change their faith in "climate change" to convert them from liberal drones demanding drastic actions (meaning more taxes, fees, subsidies for "green" technologies like expensive and inefficient wind turbines and solar farms, which are nothing more than crony socialism) into allies who will be on your side of the "green revolution" and leave Democrats in the dust on the issue, because their only interest in the hoax is government-doled money.

But to be able to talk to them about this, you have to shed the image of Republican "environmental denier" first, or you won;t ever get through the wall. You don't have to agree with them on the issue of AGW - in fact, that issue itself becomes irrelevant, a side issue - the solution and the price to pay are the only issues that are relevant and there you have much better hand than Democrats who only care to exploit the issue to take more money from them. Whether they will come to see the GW facts later or not is less important than getting them to do the "right thing" due to their own self-interest.

This completely undermines the Democrats "environmentalist" raison d'être. Winning the war without firing a shot, turning "enemies" into allies can be done with a little strategic thinking. Doesn't work when the radio hosts only look for "beating them with facts" - where did it get them, us? To quote Charlie Sheen, are we "winning"? If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it... what good is the fact that it fell?

Problem is that most people often only read the headlines and opinions about Newt (i.e., "Newt translated") instead of reading/listening/watching the entirety of what he himself actually wrote/said... and doing a little thinking themselves.

26 posted on 12/24/2012 8:43:57 PM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy
For example, we should have had a positive answer for lower cost, better outcome health care in addition to opposing Obamacare. People need to know what we are for even more than what we are against.

An example of an insuperable problem for today's Republican party.

There is only one "positive answer" for "lower cost, better outcome health care"...and that is to reduce government involvement in the process.

Today's Republican party establishment, however, cannot accept a reduction in government involvement. Anything that might reduce Washington's power is a non-starter to Washington Repubblicans.

27 posted on 12/24/2012 8:45:06 PM PST by okie01
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To: Behind the Blue Wall
I would consider [Newt's] piece to be the most excellent complete analysis of the current state of the Republican Party and what needs to be done about it that I’ve read. One problem with it, though.

It confines itself totally to technical and structural political questions. There is no mention of ideology.

One of the reasons for the Democrat party's success is that they all share the same ideology and are single-mindedly pursuing political victory so as to implement their agenda.

Beyond winning elections, the Republican party has no ideology, no agenda. There is no shared goal. No vision of the future.

More than anything, this absence of ideology has made the Republican establishment more vacuous with every passing election. What is their objective beyond a.) gaining the committee chairmanships and being in charge of spending the money and b.) winning the next election?

Hint: It sure as hell has nothing to do with shrinking government.

28 posted on 12/24/2012 8:55:40 PM PST by okie01
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To: Logical me

“We didn’t have to lose, we lost because of the simple minded couldn’t accept that Romney would be better than King Obama and sunk the ship with a load of shi!. Good thinking.”

Your logic is not that great oh logical one... We lost because the e-repub’s insisted on running a rino who couldn’t get the conservative vote.

Mitt was just Obama “lite”. Of course your going to loose with that plan...


29 posted on 12/24/2012 8:57:44 PM PST by babygene ( .)
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To: Vendome
Whenever Ed Rollins is on Fox News as one of the primary “go to” guys for advice I always start screaming at the TV.

I haven't watched Fox much recently. Are they still putting Karl Rove on daily, or have they cut back sharply on his appearances as was said soon after election night?

30 posted on 12/24/2012 9:06:51 PM PST by Will88
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To: Will88

Don’t know. Fox changed their format so much about the only place I get my news of late is from Jim Rob’s play house.


31 posted on 12/24/2012 9:36:45 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Behind the Blue Wall

I have to agree with your post.

Newt is likely the best political historian and theorist alive today, but on the other hand he has a tinear on things like the Peelousi Couch and to his “public image”.

Although I do think Newt wants his letter to RNC to assist solving the problem and take control of our Country and destiny away from the liberal progressives, he does not wish to hand the reins over to non-politicians or to too much grass-roots. Newt’s likely purpose for all his public actions in the coming few years is to become the leader of a more conservative RNC, if not the President.


32 posted on 12/24/2012 9:47:49 PM PST by X-spurt (Ted Cruz for President of the Republic of Texas)
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To: Free Vulcan
What is your take on why not one word has been heard from anyone from Romney on down regarding the blatant vote fraud so openly perpetrated by the dems?

A few weeks back another thread had some “facts” regarding some lawsuit between RNC and DNC which now forbids anyone connected with RNC from complaining about or even mentioning voter fraud. I hope that such lawsuit is fiction, but actions, or inactions in this case, do speak louder than words.

33 posted on 12/24/2012 10:00:37 PM PST by X-spurt (Ted Cruz for President of the Republic of Texas)
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To: CutePuppy

This is a dense wall of text. I did read a lot of it but I am out of patience.

Question: Was combating the massive Democratic voting fraud addressed?


34 posted on 12/24/2012 10:01:59 PM PST by wintertime
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To: CutePuppy

Screw the RNC and their greedy pulled back wives.
The only thing thisxblue blood country club banker faction of the degenerate Washingtonian political class is good at is providing cover for the communist faction democrats intheir group effort to steal everything that isn’t nailed down from those outside the Beltway

NO SOLUTIONS WILL COME FROM WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON IS THE PROBLEM

The only thing the Washingtonians can be counted on to do is take more of our cash and freedoms


35 posted on 12/24/2012 10:17:11 PM PST by Rome2000 (THE WASHINGTONIANS AND UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE ARE THE ENEMY -ROTATE THE CAPITAL AMONGST THE STATES)
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To: X-spurt

Newt said sitting on that couch with Pelosi was one of his biggest mistakes. I’m not sure he’s obliged to give the die yards on FR a pound of his flesh.


36 posted on 12/24/2012 10:19:40 PM PST by Blackirish (Forward Comrades!!!!!!!!!)
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To: CutePuppy

Screw that degenerate mass murderer Abraham Lincoln too.
Waged war on the sons of the Founders and destroyed the Republic and the concept of Federalism


37 posted on 12/24/2012 10:23:16 PM PST by Rome2000 (THE WASHINGTONIANS AND UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE ARE THE ENEMY -ROTATE THE CAPITAL AMONGST THE STATES)
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To: CutePuppy

I read the whole thing. Newt’s intelligence is why he was, and is, my man. If the GOPe ignores Newt’s words, it is doomed to failure.


38 posted on 12/24/2012 10:28:12 PM PST by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
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To: okie01
Today's Republican party establishment, however, cannot accept a reduction in government involvement. Anything that might reduce Washington's power is a non-starter to Washington Repubblicans.

A[nother] fine post.

One problem with it, though. It confines itself totally to technical and structural political questions. There is no mention of ideology.

Of course, later in the same post you show the reason for that so I'll just quote you:

Beyond winning elections, the Republican party has no ideology, no agenda. There is no shared goal. No vision of the future.

QEI. Not much more to say... sadly.

P.S. One of the GOP presidential candidates in a recent elections cycle proudly proclaimed his reason for running: "I am not a manager. I am not a visionary..."

QED

39 posted on 12/24/2012 11:03:10 PM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: Ouderkirk
Ouderkirk,

Please don't give up politically on young women.

Romney won a majority vote from white women age 18-30.

Newt forgot to mention that.

The issue with young people is this...

Race.

The percentage of youngsters who are non-white is growing.

Non-white youngsters vote 80% Democrat.

White youngsters vote 55%-60% Republican.

Conservatives need to take their message directly to non-white youth.

Conservatives need to publicly debate the most gifted non-white Socialists in America, again and again, at non-white youth venues.

Even with the MSM overwhelmingly against us, we can still peel off a couple percentage points of non-white voters each election, and we can force the Democrats to defend the turf they thought they owned.

40 posted on 12/24/2012 11:59:10 PM PST by zeestephen
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To: okie01
So correct. We, conservatives, thought the pubbies wanted smaller government. A return to a more faithful following of the constitution. When they had it all they went left. In essence we were lied to and used. What was done to Paul supporters at the convention was simply unbelievable. So...I agree, the very first step is to determine what the hell the pubbie party stands for and what it intends to work toward if elected. Then HONESTLY communicate what they believe and what they intend to do. No more lies. No more deceit. What do you stand for? The fact that Newt has to come in and tell the pubbies this shows how far they have fallen. One more thing pubbies, never ever ever lie. Reestablishing trust once you have lost it is very difficult.
41 posted on 12/25/2012 12:25:44 AM PST by Nuc 1.1 (Nuc 1 Liberals aren't Patriots. Remember 1789!)
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To: itsahoot
Re: “We are all Democrats now! (sarcasm)”

Exactly.

Newt has spent the last 16 years trying to force Conservatives to talk like Democrats.

After losing two straight presidential elections, now Newt wants us to organize our campaigns like Democrats!

Let's examine political reality.

Romney lost by 3.68%.

He was a weak candidate.

He ran a poor campaign.

He had NO strategy to counter the relentless Hard Left MSM attacks.

Republicans lost, but it was not a crushing defeat by any measure.

To win in 2014-2016, we need to maintain our share of white votes (62%), we need to improve white turnout by 2%, and we need to peel off 2%-3% of the non-white vote.

To win in 2014-2016, we need to reject Democrat Party principles and methods.

To win in 2014-2016, we need well grounded, politically astute Conservative candidates.

42 posted on 12/25/2012 12:38:09 AM PST by zeestephen
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To: CutePuppy

Until the Obama liberal welfare state collapses because they have run out of other peoples’ money or their enablers at the Fed have driven us to Weimar levels of inflation, I fear the split between what one writer @ FR called “feral adolescents” who vote for free stuff (Democrats/liberals) and those rational adult voters forced at gunpoint to pay for it (conservatives/producers) will continue. Until that collapse — which may also trigger violence from the left which many on the right will just as violently resist — this country will remain in deep, deep trouble.
We are now in Tyler’s dependency en-route to slavery and the power hungry bastards on the left will, like the parasitic mutant microbes they are are willing to kill their host before they give up that power or die themselves.
Hate to say it Newt but no matter how many study committees you form or position papers you write, the thuggish opposition we face today will not allow this to end nonviolently.
I would urge you and your GOP friends to acquire the tools and training for what lies ahead unless you are OK with a Pol Pot style march off into a Georgia swamp.


43 posted on 12/25/2012 12:50:42 AM PST by Dick Bachert (An ARMED society is a POLITE society!)
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To: CutePuppy
A third party... I have to be realistic. The GOP, literally has to burn down first before this can become a serious vision. They're there- not going anywhere for now. Third party comes only if a rebellion (from disgust and the distrust of the party) happens. Do you see that taking place? People can't group together to protest in D.C. to shut the government down so the officials must listen to the people’s demands. We have the power to throw them all out. Typing from a keyboard puts a message out but we need action to make reforms occur or to have a new party.

If the GOP doesn't listen to Newt or a strong conservative, they are walking close to the grave. Personally, I don't know of hardly anyone with the intelligence to get in there and turn this around other than Newt and Thomas Sowell and a few others. Our government is corrupt. I still say if he can't do it, it’s over for them. Are they going to listen to the Tea Party. They maybe blowing smoke with Newt. Newt needs to stay firm and don't mellow out to them because we want a true person whoever it may be. This is not the politics of the 1960’s; people are onto the politicians; their every word and action.

You would think the republicans would want to save our country. That's what the base wants. It’s hard to accept the fact that republicans can be so respectful to the opposition party and their leaders while we all see the damage that those same people are doing. Republicans have no business selling out to the socialists nor watering down our fundamentals of this nation. if they want gay marriage and gun control, like the dems; to me they are absolutely dead other than that, I am praying they turn their loss into something positive. They will be stupid to tell the base to be more liberal. We could have won the base over if the base felt there was going to be a huge overhaul of their government and term limits. The person whoever does that in the future will end up as one of the most popular presidents ever regardless of what the democratic media does.

We need a person who can handle the tiers of government, managing the lower level process, keeping all factions of the message on the same page while being faithful to their intelligence, faithful to the constitution, faithful to their supporters and to the nation's ideals while balancing these things as well as the corrupt dirty media like Reagan did. Just follow the constitution, don't inject new age liberalism/compassionate conservatism. Go back to the old school basis. The founders have all of the answers set for us. No more new laws. Enforce the laws that we have. Protect our borders. I do believe Newt is a parrot and I also think he is very intelligent and sometimes could become bored with the process of things taking so long to see progress. He is very deep and many can't follow him. I am glad he is trying and hope he stays true to what has done over the years. He and others need to listen to conservatives, not the GOP who want to go along with the democrats. Imo.

44 posted on 12/25/2012 1:55:11 AM PST by Christie at the beach (I like Newt. Our nation's foundation is under attack.)
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To: CutePuppy
I have read not a single reply to Gingrich's open letter therefore I know nothing about their content except that I see that 43 replies have been posted. I will wager that at least 10 and probably closer to 20 of them have been of the "STFU Newt" theme.

That is a very great pity, if true, because Gingrich has written the most intelligent postelection analysis yet.


45 posted on 12/25/2012 3:54:10 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Timber Rattler

Just go away, Newt.

&&&
Exactly!


46 posted on 12/25/2012 4:32:16 AM PST by Bigg Red (Sorry, Mr. Franklin, I guess we couldn't keep it.)
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To: Venturer

My belief is that we do need a new party, there is no reworking this one with those present in it.

&&
Agreed


47 posted on 12/25/2012 4:34:24 AM PST by Bigg Red (Sorry, Mr. Franklin, I guess we couldn't keep it.)
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To: CutePuppy

Thanks for posting the detailed analysis.

In my business, diagnosis comes before treatment - or, more exactly, when treatment comes before diagnosis, the results are difficult to predict.


48 posted on 12/25/2012 4:38:13 AM PST by Jim Noble (Diseases desperate grown are by desperate appliance relieved, or not at all)
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To: Behind the Blue Wall

But then he also does extremely dumb stuff like sitting on the couch with Pelosi, criticizing Bain from the left, etc. ???

***
And don’t forget one of his recent gems. He says we need to accept homosexual “marriage”:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2970873/posts


49 posted on 12/25/2012 4:38:52 AM PST by Bigg Red (Sorry, Mr. Franklin, I guess we couldn't keep it.)
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To: okie01
It confines itself totally to technical and structural political questions. There is no mention of ideology.

There is a very good reason for that. We lost this election largely because we assumed our own ideology. In other words, we could not believe that the electorate would be stupid enough to reelect a man who was destroying the country. We were not alone. Gingrich flatly states that he was astonished by the results and plans to take six months to find out what happened. Michael Barone, a man whom all of us must respect as one of the great political scientists who calls 'em as he sees 'em, got the election results in the electoral college wrong by scores of votes. The vaunted Karl Rove was humiliated on national television the night of the election when he could not believe the results in Ohio. I got it wrong, you got it wrong, we all got it wrong.

And we got it wrong mostly because we were blinded by our own ideology. We just could not believe the country could be so damn stupid.

But there was one guy who got it right, David Axelrod. You can see his analysis of the election, or at least as much is he will give away, on C-SPAN right here:

http://www.c-span.org/Events/Obama-Adviser-David-Axelrod-on-His-Career-in-Journalism-Politics/10737436338-1/

What does David Axelrod, the man who actually won the election, have to say? He talks about getting the right data. He talks about correctly analyzing the data. He talks about having intelligent people analyzing the data. He remarks on the dichotomy between what the public polls were telling people like us and, no doubt, the Romney campaign and what Axelrod's truly extensive polling and really intensive focus group research were telling him. It is clear that everybody on our side got it wrong and it was not because of voter fraud-although that might have played a small part in isolated incidents-it was because we did not read the electorate correctly. There is a word for this, we were purblind.

One example, Axelrod knew the swing voters were blaming the economy on Bush and excusing Obama. We had public polling that was even telling us that, but we did not accept the implications of it because we could not accept the reality of it. In this context, Romney's whole campaign on the economy missed the Mark.

Gingrich as outlined innumerable propositions and 25 questions and it is only after these propositions and questions are addressed that we should turn to ideology. If we do it in reverse order we will simply deceive ourselves one more time. The Rinos will sing their old song and we will make our old complaints. The Rinos will say "we delivered you the independents" and the conservatives will say, "where is the base?" Each side will indict the other, each will claim that the others ideological stubbornness, or ideological fecklessness, is bringing us electoral ruin. Neither side will have good hard data upon which to make its case. We will never know.

Ignorant but impassioned, we will be doomed to repeat.

To return to Axelrod, he talks about the need to be informed by the data and, having assessed what is attractive, having identified the vocabulary that works, at that point the strategist applies the data to the service of ideology. If you are sick and tired of having David Brooks tell you how to win elections and having the Republican establishment inside the Beltway listen to him, arm yourself with the data to refute him.

Last night, Christmas Eve, I posted this reply, to "The story behind Mitt Romney’s loss in the presidential campaign to President Obama."

(http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/pings):

It is important for conservatives to understand the import of this article. It says that Romney did not lose the election for ideological reasons but for mechanical failures. Many FReepers no doubt will find this frustrating.(emphasis supplied)

I have been saying since the night of the election loss that we must withhold our judgment about why the campaign went the way it did until we have data. The primary question remains, why did so few white voters bother go to the polls?

I think this article tells us a lot about why black and Hispanic voters went to the polls. It suggests that white voters did not go to the polls because Romney's rope a dope strategy permitted Obama to demonize Romney and the election was then and there lost. That seems plausible to me but what do I know? No more and no less than any other FREEPER with an ideological ax to grind on these threads. In the absence of data which tells us why our voters stayed home, we are just setting ourselves up for another fiasco by engaging in political onanism.

To the degree that we choose to believe it, the article tells some things that are obvious and some things that were not obvious to us at the time. For example, it was obvious to us that unanswered attack ads are poison especially for a candidate who is not already established in the minds of the electorate. I remember posting that it was far more expensive to try to unconvince people who have been convinced against you and then convince them on your behalf than it is simply to convince them in the first place. By not engaging Obama early on, Romney put himself in the position of arguing against the voter' s judgment for making a wrong assessment. That is almost an impossible sale. Without data, I can only say this is my opinion, but it seems to me obvious that the spending on television ads in the future will go on in the beginning rather more than at the end. As the Democrat said, he never saw an effective ad after Labor Day.

It was not obvious at the time that Obama had taken his ground game to a new level, that his level of technological innovation was light years ahead of Romney, that Romney's cyber war capability would be a fiasco, that Romney, who could have had access to the best polling and bogus group data ever, would permit himself to be misled. Apart from what that says about Romney and his vaunted ability as a manager, it tells us that no political campaign should be conducted when it is dependent on only one source of intelligence. No competent general would do it and no candidate should do it. In the future, a prudent candidate will engage a competing polling service to play the devil's advocate to his campaign manager' s polling service and require both sides to litigate in an adversarial setting the meaning of their data.

My conclusion from all of this is that the campaign for the 2016 election began on November 7, 2012, at least it has on the Democrat side, but one wonders what, if anything, is happening on the Republican side. Republicans seem to have decided to form a committee to tell them what happened to them. If Rino consultants form the committee I suspect Romney's Rino consultants will have little to fear from the report. I would much prefer them to consult pollsters of the style of Michael Barone to find out what happened precinct by precinct. But even Barone, as competent as he is, got it terribly wrong. So, I want dueling analyses of the postmortem just as I would in an ongoing campaign.

Since the campaign is already begun, Republicans should pay the price of attacking Obama beginning now and everyday for the rest of his term. Obama successfully ran against George Bush who was not on the ticket in 2008 and he was able to do it again in 2012, let a Republican do the same in 2016. But that can only be done if the predicate is laid. The predicate is an unremitting, unrelenting attack on Obama until the façade is finally eroded. All of this, so far, has nothing to do with ideology. It does not say a word about whether Romney ran his campaign too far to the left or too far to the right. (emphasis supplied)

This article and the data which has surfaced so far do not tell us what position we should adopt on immigration, whether we have to pander to Hispanics, or whether we should cling to the base. We simply do not know. It is no more proper for we conservatives to pontificate our doctrine than it is for Rinos to counsel cowardice. On the other hand, we can draw some conclusions about the mechanics. (emphasis supplied)

We get ever closer to some understanding but we are not there yet. If this article is correct and we manage to draw the right conclusions from it, we will know that we failed mechanically. But will we know whether the right mechanics would have won given the ideological position Romney advanced? Was it lost due to his reputation as a Rino or was it due to his failure to exploit Benghazi and Obama's ability to exploit hurricane Sandy? Would Romney have lost worse if he had campaigned farther to the right?

I do not want that to be the case, I want it to be that the more conservative the candidate, the better the candidate's chances, but I want to know what is real not what makes me feel good.

Merry Christmas.


50 posted on 12/25/2012 6:09:48 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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